Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Smogon's newest CAP: brilliance or madness?

I admit that I'm not too interested in Smogon's Create-A-Pokémon projects, for the simple reason that we don't ever end up seeing their outcomes in real battles, but their newest creation, Necturna, throws a novel idea out there, one that I'm sure very few of us ever thought of: how about a Pokémon that gets Sketch as an egg move? This is substantially different from Smeargle, in that you only get to use Sketch once, as you can't use the move relearner to get it back once you use it. That means you have to pick three moves in the Pokémon's regular movepool, then one wild card that can be any move except Chatter. I would have to say I love this idea - of course, on the condition that the Pokémon is balanced in consequence. Let's see what Necturna is made of:

Base stats: 64 HP, 120 Atk, 100 Def, 85 SA, 120 SD, 81 Spe
Like most of Smogon's CAPs, the BST exceeds the traditional 540 cap on non-legendaries/pseudo-legendaries (Arcanine and Volcarona being exceptions thanks to their special status). Nonetheless, you can see the defensive focus here, despite the somewhat low HP. That massive attack... well, it has quite a few attractive STABbed options, such as Shadow Sneak, Shadow Claw, Horn Leech, Power Whip and Leaf Blade, but beyond that, there's Stone Edge, and... Thunder Fang? Return? Payback?

Abilities: Forewarn as regular, Telepathy as DW. PASS.

Level-up moves: Thunder Fang, Poison Fang, Super Fang, Leer, Vine Whip, Ominous Wind, Shadow Sneak, Toxic Spikes, Will-O-Wisp, Hex, Horn Leech, Pain Split, Shadow Ball, Power Whip

Egg moves: Curse, Giga Drain, Gravity, Future Sight, Ingrain, Leaf Blade, Leaf Storm, Natural Gift, Nightmare, Sketch

TMs: Calm Mind, Toxic, Hidden Power, Sunny Day, Hyper Beam, Protect, Telekinesis, Frustration, Solarbeam, Return, Psychic, Shadow Ball, Double Team, Torment, Facade, Rest, Attract, Thief, Round, Energy Ball, Will-O-Wisp, Shadow Claw, Payback, Giga Impact, Flash, Stone Edge, Psych Up, Dream Eater, Grass Knot, Swagger, Substitute, Cut

And with that... what would be your wildcard move of choice? Would you go with something that's always great like Spore, or something more gimmicky that would benefit from the surprise factor?


  1. I would try to use Sketch to get Splash for only 1 battle... with friends close by in real life. Just for the WTF factor and see their reaction.
    Aside from that, I don't really like the idea of "fan-made" Pokemon. As regular players, we are completely unable to stay objective and too many of those would be over-powered. I prefer to just, you know, deal with the tools given to me and try to be original.

  2. The whole point of CAP is to experiment. The artwork and flavor stuff is just bonus, for those that are creatively inclined. I did not keep up with this one like I did for Voodoom or Tomohawk, but now that it is finished I actually think that the one-time Sketch is really cool. It has terrible offensive coverage, interesting defensive typing, decent defenses, workable speed, great Attack, and okay SpA.

    It does not naturally learn Leech Seed? Bummer. I guess this might work:

    -Leech Seed
    -Horn Leech

    or perhaps a choice or LO set like so:

    -Power Whip
    -Sacred Fire
    -Stone Edge

    Other sets looks promising also, such as Coil, Tail Glow, or Quiver Dance. However, it is hard to pass up that oh-so-sexy Sacred Fire!

  3. Well, since this thing's entire movepool (barring hidden power) is walled by most steel types, and by Dark types with a secondary typing that resists grass (Houndoom, Shiftry, etc.), Close Combat seems like a solid option for that "surprise" move if you're going for an offensive set.

    A hazard, status, and/or stall set is better on this thing, though. It has a lot of options in that area. Its ghost type makes it a good spin-blocker, and it can set up toxic spikes and leech seed (and spikes or stealth rock through sketch). It has will-o-wisp, toxic, and thunder wave or spore through sketch, plus it has substitute and good recovery options through pain split, horn leech, or recover through sketch.

    1. Or, as SuperNerd137 said, Sacred Fire would do just as well against Steels.

  4. I don't see why it gets such crap abilities, other than the possibility that anything else would make it broken.