Latios, The Eon Pokémon. Latios has the ability to make others see an image of what it has seen or imagines in its head. This Pokémon is intelligent and understands human speech. Latios will only open its heart to a Trainer with a compassionate spirit. This Pokémon can fly faster than a jet plane by folding its forelegs to minimize air resistance. It is a tender Pokémon that dislikes fighting.
Ever since its introduction, Latios has been a real behemoth of a Pokemon, especially with its signature Soul Dew item in tow. While Latios and his sister Latias have often been banned from the standard metagame in many competitive rulesets, over the past couple of generations, communities that had previously banned the Lati twins have given them a shot amongst the commoners (without the Soul Dew, of course). While not as dominating as he might have been in the first two generations of his existence, Latios has still made a name for himself by being one of the most consistently threatening and useful Pokemon out there. His high Special Attack and decent Attack stats make him quite the bruiser against slower teams, and an impressive base 110 Speed stat ensures that he won't be outrun easily. Combined with an incredibly powerful STAB Draco Meteor, a decent secondary STAB Psyshock, and a handful of useful coverage moves, Latios brings a level of special offense that a lot of Pokemon would give anything to have. Not to mention that he has pretty solid bulk for an offensive Pokemon, several key resistances, and a couple forms of reliable recovery to keep him healthy. In more open formats such as Ubers, you can even slap on his signature Soul Dew item and he'll be able to compete with the best of them. Not only is Latios an outstanding offensive powerhouse and even a defensive pivot against some threats, but he also stands out as one of the best Defog users in the game, which makes him a well sought after support Pokemon as well. Factor in Latios's ability to sweep slower teams with Calm Mind or even revenge kill opposing sweepers with a Choice Scarf and it becomes pretty obvious that he's a pretty versatile Pokemon as well. Just keep him away from Pursuit users and you'll find that Latios is one of the best team choices out there.
Levitate: Damage dealing Ground-type moves have no effect on this Pokemon. Cannot be trapped by Arena Trap ability. Takes no damage from Spikes. A Ground immunity is always useful for any Pokemon, and Latios is no exception. He's able to put significantly more pressure on Pokemon like Landorus since he can ignore their Ground-type STABs.
Here w Latios's Life Orb set has become a sort of Swiss Army knife for all kinds of balanced and offensive teams. It combines several cool utilities for offense such as raw wallbreaking power, defensive pivoting into powerful Pokemon like Keldeo, and even Defog support. Draco Meteor may not be quite the nuke that it was back in the BW days thanks to its slight power nerf, but it's still one of the strongest STAB attacks that you'll see flying around the metagame. Psyshock offers Latios a pretty powerful secondary STAB, and perhaps even more importantly is the fact that it nails specially defensive tanks and Calm Mind users that may otherwise take Latios on much more easily. Once you get down to your last two moveslots, you get to the point where you can pick two of three useful assets: extra coverage, reliable recovery, or entry hazard removal. You don't have to be playing this game competitively very long for you to realize that entry hazard control is an enormous factor in any given match. Being able to guarantee the removal of your opponent's hazards is very valuable, although you will want to be more careful around Defiant users such as Bisharp. Roost can be very valuable as well, letting Latios better take advantage of its decent bulk and useful resistances. If it's coverage that you prefer, Latios has no shortage of options there either. HP Fire hits several key targets such as Ferrothorn and Mega Scizor extremely hard, while also hitting other Steel-types like Klefki hard as well. Earthquake also hits Steel-types pretty hard in general, but the big draw here is hitting Heatran for major damage (you'll want to run a Hasty nature instead of Timid with this one). Thunderbolt is the best option for a few things like Azumarill and Skarmory, and Surf gets generally good neutral coverage while also hitting a few things like Heatran and Mega Diancie pretty hard. There are tons of coverage options to choose from, so you should pick the ones that best benefit your team; in fact, running 2 coverage moves instead of Roost or Defog is always an option, albeit not strongly recommended. One last little trick that you can use with this set (and any Life Orb Latios set, to be honest) is that you can set Latios's HP IV to 29. This drops Latios's HP stat to 299, allowing him to take one less point of Life Orb recoil with every attack, quickly making up for the minor loss in HP.
It should be noted that if you're playing under a ruleset that allows Soul Dew, you're definitely going to want to use that instead. The 50% Special Attack and Special Defense boosts are spectacular, and unlike with the Life Orb, you don't take any recoil from attacking. Rulesets like this also often allow use of the powerful 670+ BST legendary Pokemon, and thanks to the massive boosts of the Soul Dew, Latios still stands out among this competition as a fierce special attacker and even a decent check to monsters such as Groudon and Kyogre's Primal forms.
It might seem odd to use a Calm Mind set with a move like Draco Meteor that drops your Special Attack, but just try this set out and you'll find that the power of a Calm Mind and Life Orb-boosted Draco Meteor quickly makes up for the extra hassle (and if you're able to use the Soul Dew instead of the Life Orb, those Draco Meteors will be that much stronger). With Draco Meteor blowing holes in most Pokemon and Psyshock breaking many of the few special tanks and Dragon-resistant Pokemon that can handle the former, Latios becomes incredibly hard to wall after a boost or two. You also can't forget that Latios's already solid special bulk becomes that much more impressive when you get a few Calm Minds under your belt. That being said, Roost lets Latios take advantage of this bulk to the greatest extent possible, easily soaking up even some powerful special attacks with the added bulk and healing them off. If you prefer a more offensive approach, however, you could always go with a coverage move to hit those pesky Steel-types that resist your STAB moves. HP Fire and Surf are perhaps the best two options here. Both offer excellent neutral coverage alongside Draco Meteor and can hit most of the Steel- and Fairy-types that resist Latios's main STABs. That said, both moves also have their weaknesses; for example, running HP Fire leaves you a lot more open to Heatran, whereas running Surf gives Ferrothorn a lot more freedom to switch in. Either way, your matchup against many of Latios's usual checks will be vastly improved, and your opponent will be forced to watch in horror as your Latios steamrolls their team with one Calm Mind-boosted Draco Meteor after another.
I Hate to Drag-On Like This
Choice Latios has seen its ups and downs throughout the generations. In the BW days, Choice Specs Latios was one of the most feared sets in the metagame, whereas it is now usually shelved in favor of the weaker but more versatile Life Orb set. Choice Scarf Latios has still seen some use in recent history, however, as one of the fastest revenge killers available. Draco Meteor and Psyshock are pretty standard fare here. Both are great STABs, with one focusing more on raw bruising power and the other being a more technical weapon for special tanks. Trick is a staple on any Choice set, and this is no exception. Choice Scarf Latios may lack the raw power of the other sets, but it makes up for it with the ability to cripple many bulkier opponents by Tricking them your Choice item. The remaining moveslot leaves you with a couple of options, as usual. Defog seems strange on a Choice set, but being able to get off a quick Defog before the opponent can react can be a life saver for a teammate like Mega Charizard Y, who might die the next time it has to switch into Stealth Rock. That said, this Latios set is a revenge killer, so you can also add one of a couple of coverage moves if to help Latios check a threat that your team might otherwise be weak to. HP Fire is generally good for opposing Steel-types, but it's also great for luring in and KOing sweepers like Mega Scizor. Thunderbolt can put an end to a DD Gyarados sweep, and it also makes Latios a decent backup check to Belly Drum Azumarill. Surf again boasts that general neutral coverage, and it's also great for stopping an unboosted Mega Diancie from wreaking havoc. While the Choice Scarf is the primary Choice item chosen for this set, you can forgo its revenge killing abilities for the raw power of the Choice Specs. Unfortunately, Choice Specs sets lack the versatility and move freedom that make the Life Orb sets so great, making the latter the better option.
Memento, Reflect, Light Screen, Dragon Pulse, Dragon Dance, Hidden Power Fighting, Recover, Ice Beam, Psychic, Energy Ball, Grass Knot, Thunder Wave, Tailwind
Double & Triple Options
Latios was among the likes of Heatran and Kangaskhan before Fairies came to be. Losing Gems (alongside Gems losing power) also didn't help Latios at all. But! It does get a Mega Evolution!
Which may hinder it more than help it. Perhaps if Soul Dew wasn't an automatic Calm Mind, then one might not hold Latios to high expectations. Being part Psychic is also starting to wear on Latios as that means it's weak to Sucker Punch, which many slower but powerful Pokemon (see Mega Mawile or Bisharp) love to take advantage of.
Despite Latios falling more into a niche pick for a team, it's still relatively solid on its own, only really being let down by being Sucker Punch and Fairy weak.
Latios will be on the offensive more often than not. Draco Meteor was its claim to fame back in the day, but secondary STAB Psychic or Psyshock will keep Poisons and Fighting types at bay. Mainly Rage Powdering Amoongus. Tailwind is a nice option to help Latios's partner, but Shadow Ball means Latios isn't completely helpless against an Aegislash.
Partners for Latios will make pressuring Aegislash a priority, and to a lesser extent pressure Heatran, which ironically means Earth Power Heatran makes a great partner for Latios. Heatran can switch out of a ground attack for Latios to get in for free, and Latios can dodge a Fairy or Ice type attack with Heatran in the back. Latios falls short only because Gen 6 introduced Pokemon that were on par with Latios in terms of power and versatility or are just plain stronger. This is made especially apparent in the face of Mega Evolutions. Being part Psychic also seems to be more of a hindrance than a boon as well. Latios has nice stats, base 110 Speed is incredibly fast and base 130 Special Attack hits pretty hard, but Aegislash and Heatran shut Latios down pretty well and they are quite popular, meaning a lot of battles for Latios may be up hill.
Perhaps Latios's biggest nemeses are Dark-type Pokemon such as Tyranitar and Bisharp. Not only can these Pokemon switch competently into Latios's Draco Meteors and decimate Latios with their STAB moves, but they also boast the dangerous Pursuit. If Latios is caught off guard by a Pursuit user, it can mean instant death with no escape. Latios also isn't a huge fan of Fairy-type Pokemon due to their immunity to his Draco Meteor. A few Fairy-types such as Clefable and Mega Gardevoir can also take Psyshock with ease and do not fear Latios's coverage moves, so they switch in and threaten Latios that much more easily. The other type that's resistant to Latios's Dragon STAB is Steel, so it stands to reason that these Pokemon can be decent checks to Latios as well. You'll have to be careful of the various coverage moves that Latios may carry in order to deal with his Steel-type adversaries, but for every Pokemon that Latios covers with a specific coverage move, he ends up missing out on another. Jirachi is an example of a Steel Pokemon that can even handle Latios's coverage moves, making it a great answer. If the previous defensive answers fail, Pokemon with raw special bulk like Chansey and Cresselia can do the trick. Keep in mind that Latios's main STAB drops his Special Attack two stages per use, so as long as your Pokemon can take under 66% damage from the move and has reliable recovery, it can switch in and win the matchup against the Life Orb set. Those Pokemon might have trouble with the Calm Mind set or the Choice set's Trick, however. If all else fails, Latios can be dealt with through more offensive means quite nicely. Don't forget that Latios's six resistances and Ground immunity are matched by six weaknesses, and while his bulk may be solid for an offensive Pokemon, it isn't nearly enough to handle strong super effective STAB or coverage moves. Whether its Choice Scarf Garchomp's Outrage or Weavile's Knock Off, a fast and powerful hit like that will send Latios into the next eon.
Lastly, in case you're playing in a more open environment where 670+ BST legendary Pokemon are allowed, there are a few more checks to Latios that you'll have to consider. Xerneas is a top tier Fairy, and with its bulk and power, it can make quick work of Latios. Arceus-Fairy must similarly be considered. Yveltal and Arceus-Dark serve as a powerful new pair of Dark-types that Latios must be weary of, and Arceus-Ghost can check Latios in a similar manner. Some of the lesser checks mentioned in the above paragraph can still be viable, but given that Latios will generally be rocking its Soul Dew in these sorts of environments, you might want to choose one of these more powerful checks to better handle the extra damage.
Mega Latios's case is one of the strangest of any Mega. At first glance, it seems like a welcome addition to any team in need of a Lati twin's talents. While Life Orb Latios has more special power to its name, Mega Latios has more bulk on both sides of the spectrum, more physical power on specially-based mixed sets, and an immunity to Trick and Switcheroo. It also doesn't need the Life Orb to reach its high levels of power, relieving it of 10% recoil on every attack. Since Mega Latios is forced to hold its Mega Stone, it even takes less damage from that initial Knock Off hit, letting it handle the weaker ones more easily. Overall, it seems like it would be an upgrade in many ways to an already great Pokemon, yet it receives very little love from competitive players. So what went wrong? Well, the problem is that Latios is, again, already a great Pokemon. In fact, the advantages that Mega Latios has over its regular form are hardly more than minor buffs when compared to what many other Mega forms offer over their natural states, and Life Orb Latios's power advantage also cannot be ignored. This wouldn't be such a major problem if Mega Latios were a cost-free Primal form instead, but the fact that you can only Mega evolve one Pokemon per match means that every Mega has to earn its right to be on a team via its own unique traits and niches. The question then becomes, "Why would I use up my one Mega slot on Mega Latios when Life Orb Latios can do the same job about as well while also giving me freedom to use a different Mega?" Sadly, unless you get to one of those rare occasions where you have a Latios on your team and don't need a different Mega, the only reason to use Mega Latios is just for the sake of using Mega Latios. That said, it's still a strong Pokemon in its own right and will generally pull its weight just as well as Latios (if not more), but there will always be that nagging feeling that you could be doing so much better with another Mega and a normal Latios.
Levitate: Damage dealing Ground-type moves have no effect on this Pokemon. Cannot be trapped by Arena Trap ability. Takes no damage from Spikes. Mega Latios doesn't get a fancy new ability, but that's not a huge problem when Levitate is a nice ability itself. An immunity to both Spikes and powerful Ground-type STABs or coverage moves is much appreciated.
Big Ol' Jet Airliner
The main advantage that Mega Latios has over his normal form is its extra bulk and longevity, so it would stand to reason that a Calm Mind set with Roost would be the best way to take advantage of this extra staying power. However, Mega Latios also has to compete with Mega Latias and her even more stunning bulk, so just any old Calm Mind set won't do. Therefore, the best way to utilize both Mega Latios's bulk advantage over Latios and his power advantage over Mega Latias is with an offensive Calm Mind set. This set plays very similarly to the virtually identical Latios set: you set up Calm Mind, nuke opponents with a ridiculously powerful Draco Meteor, pick off some of the Draco Meteor-resistant nuisances with Psyshock, and use Roost to keep yourself healthy. While Mega Latios lacks some of the raw power of his Life Orb-boosted normal form, that power differential quickly becomes irrelevant when you're throwing around Draco Meteors boosted by several Calm Minds. Meanwhile, Mega Latios's extra bulk, lack of Life Orb recoil, lesser damage from initial Knock Offs, and immunity to the occasional Trick and Switcheroo make it much easier for him to stick around for the long haul. Seeing as how the point of this set is to stay in, set up, and break down the opponent's team, that extra survivability is more important here than with most other sets. There's not as much room for coverage on this particular set since you're going to want to use Roost to make use of Mega Latios's defensive advantages, but Mega Latios's STABs with a few Calm Mind boosts behind them should suffice most of the time. All things considered, this set actually works really well in practice, just like that of Latios. Even so, the problem with this set (and with Mega Latios in general) has never been about functionality; it's been about the low incentive to use the set despite what is a very significant opportunity cost. Offensive Calm Mind Mega Latios can work quite nicely, but I can't stress this enough: you'll almost always be better off with an equivalent Life Orb Latios set and a different Mega. It's the sad but simple truth.
Defog, Dragon Pulse, Surf, Hidden Power Fire, Thunderbolt, Earthquake, Dragon Dance, Outrage
Double & Triple Battle Options
Mega Latios demands too many resources for not enough in return. The incredible mixed attacking stats are nice, but is anyone really going to use Zen Headbutt over Psyshock to try and justify Mega Latios's base Attack increase? Should Latios learn an attack that raises Attack, Special Attack and Speed one stage THEN Mega Latios might be considered to be a dangerous set up mixed sweeper, but for now, avoid using Mega Latios as your main Mega unless you've no other option, but if you must...
Countering Mega Latios
Mega Latios is basically just Latios, only a little bit weaker and a little bit bulkier. Therefore, if you have a good check for Latios, you can general handle his Mega form. Dark-types with Pursuit such as Tyranitar and Bisharp are just as important here as they are for normal Latios; their Dark-type STAB moves care little about Mega Latios's extra physical bulk, slicing through him like a knife through butter, and their Pursuit can spell disaster. Fairy-type Pokemon like Klefki, Clefable, and Mega Altaria can ignore Mega Latios's Draco Meteors and even take a boosted Psyshock before wailing away with their Fairy-type STAB moves. Since Mega Latios is going to prefer Roost over a coverage move for Steel-types, this makes it easier for Pokemon like Heatran and Scizor to come in and wreak havoc (you'll probably want Roar or Toxic on Heatran, however, as its special attacks will be doing little to a boosted Mega Latios). Mega Latios is going to want to stay in for a while if it intends to sweep with Calm Mind, so hitting it with Toxic will put him on a timer. As long as you have something like Chansey with enough raw special bulk to stall for a while, you can wear Mega Latios down slowly with poison. If all else fails, don't forget those 6 weaknesses that Mega Latios bears. He may be able to boost his special bulk to great heights, but a handful of Calm Minds isn't going to save him from a well-placed Outrage, Play Rough, etc.
In more open metagames…actually, just forget it. There's no good reason to use Mega Latios over the much more dangerous Soul Dew Latios. If you come across a Mega Latios in such an environment, you should consider yourself lucky. If you're the one using Mega Latios in such an environment, you should go sit in the corner and think about what you've done.
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