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Competitive Spotlight: Latios 01/14/2013

Posted by Gryphon in Game Strategy, Pokemon Video Games.
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latios_color

Eon Pokemon
Length: 6’07”
Weight: 132.3 pounds
Type: Dragon/Psychic

During the World Championships in August of 2012, Latios got a special mention as one of the most often-used pokemon by competitors. In the competitive metagame, Latios has an advantage by being both powerful and versatile, being able to learn many different types of moves as well as a high Special Attack and Speed stat to be able to dominate with those moves. When given a spot on a Double Battles team, Latios can be lent support by other strong pokemon which counter its weaknesses well.

Most Latios are given a Psychic and a Dragon attack move to take advantage of the same-type attack bonus (STAB). Psychic and Psyshock both run off its huge Special Attack stat; the latter, Psyshock, calculates damage using the opponent’s Defense stat instead of Special Defense, and can come in handy against Special Defense “tanks” switched in to protect against Latios’ Special Attack. Draco Meteor is the most powerful Special Dragon move, though trainers sometimes prefer Dragon Pulse for more accuracy.

Latios’ other two moves are often left up to what works well with the rest of the team, or against popular counters to Latios. Many Latios know Hidden Power when its type is Fire, because of Steel pokemon like Metagross which are resistant to Psychic and Dragon moves. Because of the popularity of Rain teams which use Water pokemon, Latios can counter with Thunderbolt (or if on a Rain team itself, it can get 100% accuracy with Thunder, or a power boost with Surf). In the reports for the 2012 Winter Battle, the move listed as the most widely-known among all Latios used in the competition was Protect. While it doesn’t do damage, it is still a popular move for strategies involving scouting or drawing attacks away from its partner.

Because Soul Dew is banned from sanctioned competitions, Latios is often given a different item to power up its moves; Dragon Gem is the most popular, for a one-shot 2x multiplier to the damage from Dragon Pulse or Draco Meteor. Latios can also benefit from Life Orb, which raises its attack power, but carves off a small bit of HP from it when it attacks. Choice Specs and Choice Scarf will raise its Special Attack and Speed, respectively, but they force it to only use one move. For defensive purposes, trainers may opt for a Focus Sash to protect it from being knocked out in a single hit, or a Haban Berry to weaken the damage from Dragon moves.

As far as Abilities go, Latios can only have Levitate, which protects it from Ground attacks (so long as the opposing pokemon does not have Mold Breaker, which ignores Levitate). This gives it an advantage when paired with pokemon like Metagross and Tyranitar, which have high Attack and can do a lot of damage with Earthquake, or with Garchomp, which not only has high Attack but also gets STAB with its Ground typing. Popular Natures for Latios are Timid (lowers Attack and raises Speed) and Modest (lowers Attack and raises Special Attack).

Latios is weak to Bug, Ghost, Ice, Dragon, and Dark moves, and its Defense is lower than its Special Defense. It is significantly weak against Tyranitar, who not only scores big hits with its physical Dark attacks, but also guards against Special Attacks by having its Special Defense raised during a sandstorm. Metagross, Garchomp and Scizor are also proven to be formidable foes to Latios, by either guarding against its Special Attack or having a type advantage in their movesets. Building a team around Latios should involve taking all of these pokemon and their advantages into account.

Being a Legendary pokemon, Latios can be difficult to obtain. It was originally available as a roaming pokemon in the Ruby and Emerald versions of Generation III, which are still compatible with titles that allow you to transfer pokemon to your Black2/White2 game. For players of HeartGold and SoulSilver, Latios is available in SoulSilver as a roaming pokemon in Kanto after obtaining the Copycat’s doll from the Vermilion Fan Club, and can be summoned in HeartGold in Pewter City if you obtained the event item Enigma Stone, which was only available for a limited time from a wifi download to HG/SS players. If neither of those are an option, Latios can still be encountered and captured in Black2 (White2 players will find Latias instead); upon entering the Dreamyard east of Striaton City, Latios will approach the player, then fly off. You will have to chase it around the area and finally corner it at the end of a ledge, where it will battle you.

For more information on Latios and effective movesets and strategies for this pokemon, feel free to visit these reference sites.
Bulbapedia – Latios
Smogon University – Latios B/W
Pokemon Online – Latios

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