Saturday, October 22, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #24: Old Pokemon Six

The Eon Pokemon
 Tier: OU (as of January 2012)

H.P.: 80
Attk: 90
Def.: 80
Sp.A: 130
Sp.D: 110
Spe: 110

Levitate: The Pokemon is immune to Ground type attacks. An additional immunity in the form of this ability is a blessing for Latios, as it allows you to come in on Earthquakes, Spikes and Toxic Spikes and take no damage at all. A great ability for a great Pokemon.
            Among all Dragons currently present in OU, Latios is definitely a king, being the fastest and most hard-hitting from the Special side. And since it has yet to be banned, nor has it shown many signs of being banned any time soon, it is safe to say that Latios, in all its supremacy, is here to stay.

            There is really not much else to say about the Eon Pokemon that hasn’t already been said or assumed, but its extreme offensive presence, excellent all-around stats and pretty good typing all vouch for its consistent appearance in the top ten usage statistics for OU every single month. A main reason for it not being banned, along with its twin Latias, is that Soul Dew has yet to be incorporated into the game this generation. This means that the Latis lose a great portion of their Uber swag in the generation shift, but really does nothing to make them less dominant than they already are. Expect to see a lot of Latios in OU, and bring a good Special Wall, too. Otherwise, a good percentage of your team just might fall to its blue might.

Potential Sets:

11.      SubCM
4 HP/252 Sp.Atk/252 Spe
Timid @ Leftovers
-Calm Mind
-Dragon Pulse
-Surf/Thunderbolt/Ice Beam/Psyshock…

            Any set that utilizes Latios’ high Speed and gargantuan Special Attack is going to have potential. This set is no different at all, and allows a chance to boost that already massive Spec. Attack as well as the very above average Special Defense. In all its power and glory, Latios can easily come in on a weakened threat and force a switch out, resulting in a free Substitute. Once behind a Sub, you may begin to fire off powerful STAB or set up to demolish everything. The first three moves are very self-explanatory, and it is obvious to see why Draco Meteor is not a great option here. The last moveslot is for coverage purposes, and Surf fills that role very nicely (especially with Drizzle support), being only resisted by Ferrothorn in OU. Thunderbolt is another excellent option, while Ice Beam and Psyshock are less potent, though still quite usable; the latter retaining further STAB and being able to hit physically weak threats, such as Tentacruel.
            As far as item choice goes here, Leftovers are indeed ideal, though if you’d like more power at the cost of longevity, Life Orb will work nicely as well. Furthermore, if you’re feeling rather bold, you may replace Dragon Pulse for Draco Meteor, and Lefties for White Herb. That might be an interesting set.

22.      Bulky Calm Mind
252 HP/4 Def/252 Spe
Timid @ Leftovers
-Calm Mind
- Recover
-Roar/Reflect/Thunder Wave/Toxic  
-Dragon Pulse

            You may have seen this set run on Latias before, as with outstanding stats and typing this becomes one of the best bulky setup sweepers/semi-support Pokemon in OU. Latios is no different, and with a tradeoff of some bulk for more power, it is easy to see why this set is such a marvel.
            Calm Mind and Dragon Pulse are the offensive crux of this set, and with the former’s additional Special Defense boost, coupled with Latios’ astounding base 110 Sp. Def stat and rather high 364 HP (with 252 EVs), hits from non-super-effective monsters are merely shrugged off and laughed at. Recover and Leftovers work brilliantly with this bulk to ensure Latios stays alive and gets up as many Calm Minds as possible before Pulsing away. The remaining moveslot is up to you here. Roar is a great way of stopping Stall, and with efficient entry hazard support, you can really rack up residual damage on opposing threats. Reflect works well with Calm Mind and Max HP, ensuring Latios and teammates take hits better from nearly anything. If you’d like a greater edge over your opponent, however, Thunder Wave and Toxic can be used to subjugate faster and bulkier switch-ins, respectively.
            Because D-Pulse is the only offensive move on this set, you’ll want a proper means of removing Steel types from your opponent’s team, let they wall you entirely. Magnezone is a nearly perfect partner with this set, as with any Latios set, and can trap and destroy the likes of Skarmory, Forretress and Ferrothorn, all of which can give Latios a very hard time.

33.      Dragon Dance
252 Atk/4 Sp.Atk/252 Spe
Lonely/Hasty @ Life Orb/Leftovers 
-Dragon Dance
-Outrage/Dragon Claw 
-Draco Meteor/Recover/Substitute

            One thing Latios has over nearly every single Dragon type in the game is its base 110 Speed. And while the Lati twins share this blisteringly fast stat, Latios can essentially make better use of it with Dragon Dance, a move Latias hasn’t received.
            Even though Latios is best used with its amazing Special Attack and great special movepool, the aforementioned speed and a decent base 90 Attack, as well as STAB Outrage really bolster this set to unbelievable heights, resulting in a sweep if played well.
            Outrage (or Dragon Claw) and Earthquake yield pretty good coverage overall, but this set still has some very prominent counters, most notably Gliscor and Skarmory (and nearly all Steel types, excluding Heatran without Air Balloon). For this reason, Draco Meteor may be used in the last slot to take care of the former, and also to hit other Specially weak things. Additionally, Recover may be used nicely in tandem with Life Orb to ensure Latios sticks around longer to destroy things. Substitute is also an excellent move choice to pull on a switch, to guarantee a hard hit (as most things that switch into Latios are Steel types and Special walls), or a free DD.
            As I have mentioned, Skarmory (and Ferrothorn, if you have no boosts and are not running Substitute) is a real problem for this set, so carrying appropriate team support, i.e. a powerful Special Attacker or Fire type Pokemon to take care of these threats, is highly necessary for this set to be successful. You may also be wondering, “Why choose Latios over Dragonite, Haxorus or Salamence, all of which can run a much more effective, harder hitting, Dragon Dance set?”  The answer to this is twofold: First, the fact that Latios is the fastest Dragon type in OU allows for more opportunity to get a Dragon Dance boost in situations that Mence or Dragonite would not otherwise be able to. Substitute is also an excellent means of taking advantage of that high Speed, as it prevents Status ailments and other crippling facors that Mence and Nite cry over (90 base Attack also isn’t really that bad). Second, and perhaps a little more important, is the element of surprise. Latios nearly 100% of the time runs a Special Offense set (Life Orb, Choice Specs, Calm Mind, etc), so by running Dragon Dance and two very powerful physical moves you are bound to force your opponent into a corner at times. Simply switch Latios in on something that it would normally scare out, like Terrakion or Gliscor, and proceed to setup. A special wall like Chansey or Jellicent will likely come in, to which you can answer with a boosted Outrage, shifting the moment violently in your favor. It may take a lot of prediction, but if used correctly with superb team support, you can have yourself a deadly unorthodox Dragon Dance threat.

44.      Rain Abuse Latios
4 HP/252 Sp.Atk/252 Spe
Timid @ Leftovers
-Calm Mind
- Dragon Pulse

            With the Eon Pokemon’s perfect coverage and nearly limitless movepool, this set is nearly unmatched in the Rain now that Thundurus is gone. 100% accurate Thunder from 359 Special Attack (and perhaps even after a Calm Mind or two) will destroy everything but a dedicated Speciall wall, and Rain-boosted Surf with STAB Dragon Pulse optimize coverage here, making Ferrothorn the only Pokemon capable of resisting the wrath of this set.
            If you’d like to see a recorded battle with this set in action, please click here.

55.      Special Offense
4 HP/252 Sp.Atk/252 Spe
Timid @ Choice Specs/Choice Scarf/Life Orb/Expert Belt
-Draco Meteor
-Dragon Pulse 
-Ice Beam/Surf/Psyshock/Hidden Power Fire 
-Thunderbolt/Surf/Psyshock/Hidden Power Fire 

The most standard/commonly seen use of Latios’ stats is seen with any of the above items and a combination of the aforementioned moves. This is arguably his best spread, and each item provides innumerous benefits over the others. The gist of this is simple; switch Latios in and hit hard, then switch out and do it again. Draco Meteor is the prime move on any of these offensive Latios sets, while Dragon Pulse is to hit weaker threats without having your stat dropped by two stages. The last two slots are for preference, and for what you’d like to hit more efficiently. BoltBeam yields excellent coverage with the Dragon moves, but Ferrothorn will still have his way with you. Psyshock is for hitting Special Walls for still great damage, while Hidden Power Fire makes quick work of Ferro, Forretress and Scizor switch-ins, though at the cost of some power and a Speed point (HP Fire requires 30 Speed IVs, as opposed to 31).
The item you use with this set will determine essentially what role you’d like your Latios to play. If you want your Draco Meteors to hit as hard as they possibly can, Life Orb or Choice Specs may be employed, both with their own share of pros. For an unstoppably fast revenge killer with gargantuan power, Choice Scarf is the item for you. and lastly, Expert Belt works quite well with Latios’ phenomenal coverage, and will allow you to fake your opponent out by acting as a Choice set, then destroying them with a Super Effective move when they think they’ve had you beat.  

            With a slew of nigh-unstoppable moves and terrific stats across the board, Latios excels in just about everything and anything it sets out to do. Despite all its glory, however, its arch-nemesis remains Tyranitar, or any powerful Pursuiter or fast Dragon for that matter. But if you can see that these threats are taken care of before switching Latios in, you shall be good to go. If you lack a quick, heavy-hitter on any one of your teams, go ahead and throw Latios in; you won’t regret it.

 Competitive Usability:  9.5 out of 10 

            Latios resembles a jet, has a unique typing, and is the raddest shade of blue imaginable. Its design is one of the coolest since the Ruby and Sapphire games from which it came. It may share a vast number of similarities with its sister Latias, but that makes the Blue Eon Pokemon no less amazing or viable.

Aesthetic Design:  9 out of 10

No comments:

Post a Comment