Looking for a fast and powerful Dragon-type Pokemon to use in VGC 2012? Well search no further, as Latios is just that...and more! Boasting a sky-high base 130 Special Attack and a supersonic base 110 Speed, combined with its fantastic Dragon-type STAB and fair coverage, Latios will very often leave an agonizing scar on its victims. Furthermore, Latios's moderate overall bulk, coupled with its fantastic resistances to Fire-, Fighting-, Grass-, Psychic-, Electric-, and Water-type attacks, along with its immunity to Ground-type attacks due to Levitate, grant it a decent degree of survivability and allowing it to continue its rampage.
However, Latios does suffer from several drawbacks. It has a somewhat wide list of weaknesses which, when combined with Latios's subpar physical bulk, means it is in constant danger of being dispatched. As a result, Latios relies heavily on its Speed to take out many threats, which can be somewhat of a liability as many common battle conditions in VGC 2012 can alter turn orders. Despite these setbacks, the aforementioned positives are more than enough to secure Latios's place as one of the most devastating special attackers in this metagame.
This might be Latios's only featured set in this analysis, but there is no denying that Latios draws much of its destructiveness from this set alone. Although Latios is a very one dimensional Pokemon in this metagame, it performs that one role exceptionally well such that predictability is almost never an issue!
Latios's primary offensive potential comes from its powerful Dragon-type STAB attacks. Draco Meteor is the very portrait of such strength, capable of OHKOing or severely injuring most Pokemon, especially if they lack resistance to it. For instance, Life Orb Draco Meteor has a very good chance of OHKOing 252/0 Rotom-W! However, the harsh Special Attack reduction after it is used can leave Latios quite vulnerable, and thus should be used sparingly. Another option would be Dragon Pulse, which does not have a drawback and can be thrown around more safely, but is nowhere as powerful as Draco Meteor.
The remainder of Latios's moveslots focus on coverage. Psychic will OHKO Terrakion and Conkeldurr, and has a 56.25% chance of OHKOing Hariyama, while Psyshock grants Latios an alternative STAB that lets it beat down Fighting-types (bar Scrafty), Amoonguss, and can dent Snorlax and specially defensive Gastrodon. Psychic also has a higher base power and a chance for a Special Defense drop. Hidden Power Ground dents Metagross, Excadrill, and can OHKO Heatran. Hidden Power Fire has even greater coverage, as it hits Metagross, Excadrill, Scizor, Ferrothorn, and Abomasnow for super effective damage, but can be weakened by rain and leaves Latios hanging with 30 Speed IVs, making it vulnerable against opposing base 110 Speed Pokemon. If running Hidden Power Fire, the EVs should be changed to 4 HP / 4 Def / 248 SpA / 4 SpD / 248 Spe to account for the IV drop. If coverage isn't a big issue, Tailwind is an alternative over Hidden Powers. Latios's raw power ensures that it can easily make use of the Tailwind it sets up, and its high base Speed allows it to outrun virtually every speedy weather abuser, with the exception of the rare Jumpluff in the sun (with whom Latios Speed ties), and the even rarer Floatzel in the rain. Substitute provides a way for Latios to avoid the common Cresselia's Thunder Wave, and prevents Icy Wind's Speed drops. Substitute also can aid Latios in stalling out Trick Room and Tailwind.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Latios's wide movepool grants it a fair number of other choices to utilize to keep itself from being too predictable. Substitute can be used to take advantage of free turns as well as to avoid Sucker Punches and status attacks. However, Latios might find itself hard pressed to remove one of its valuable moveslots. Recover can be used to maintain Latios's presence in the battlefield, while also avoiding Sucker Punch. Latios's bulk might not be very impressive, but it does have an incredible number of useful resistances. This works best with a type-resist Berry such as Haban. Grass Knot 2HKOes Tyranitar and Gastrodon, and OHKOes Rhyperior. Latios has access to many supporting options. It learns Heal Pulse, Icy Wind, Helping Hand, Thunder Wave, Reflect, and Light Screen, but Latias generally performs that role better.
Latios has several other item choices it can consider. It can utilize Choice Specs rather well due to its insanely high Special Attack stat, and can also open up the possibility of using Trick to cripple a target. However, as Latios gets locked in and is unable to use Protect, the danger of being KOed increases. Choice Scarf is also a viable option to make Latios faster than virtually anything outside of Trick Room. White Herb is an option to restore Latios's Special Attack one time after using Draco Meteor, and can also aid it against Icy Wind. Beware of Intimidate, however, as it will simply waste the White Herb and Latios would have almost certainly preferred receiving the Attack drop anyways. Latios's weaknesses can be temporarily fixed via the aid of a type-resist Berry. Haban Berry allows Latios to live against an otherwise fatal Dragon-type attack such as Garchomp's Dragon Claw and Kingdra's Dragon Pulse. Colbur Berry grants it a one-time protection against Sucker Punch from the likes of Toxicroak and Hitmontop, and allows it to survive Tyranitar's Crunch. Alternatively, Focus Sash can let Latios survive any fatal hit provided that it was struck at full HP.
Checks and Counters
Tyranitar is a solid counter, being able to usually live two hits from Latios and OHKOing back with Crunch. Keep in mind though—if Tyranitar does not invest very heavily in Special Defense, it will be 2HKOed by Life Orb Grass Knot. Bronzong resists Latios's STABs and Hidden Power Ground, and can use Trick Room to nullify Latios's Speed advantage. Latios also does not enjoy taking multiple Iron Heads or Gyro Balls. Beware of Hidden Power Fire in the sun, however, as it can deal massive damage. Metagross needs to watch out for Hidden Power Ground and Hidden Power Fire (if it is not raining). However, it can tank everything else reasonably well and deal major damage with Meteor Mash. Though Latios will survive the Meteor Mash, it will not survive the following Bullet Punch. Scizor beats those without Hidden Power Fire. It can swiftly dispatch Latios with its powerful STAB Bug Bite. Ferrothorn also defeats Latios without Hidden Power Fire (and can beat one with it in the rain). Its added resistances to Surf and Thunderbolt means that Latios will have a tough time breaking through it, while Ferrothorn can 2HKO Latios with Gyro Ball. Snorlax's incredible special bulk allows it to absorb Latios's attacks without too much of a hassle, but Snorlax must be wary of Psyshock. In return, Latios fears Body Slam, Crunch, or Return. Chansey can easily absorb Latios's attacks and stall it out with Toxic and Softboiled, but Chansey is rather rare in this metagame.
Faster Pokemon such as Weavile, Choice Scarf Abomasnow, Choice Scarf Garchomp, and Yanmega (after a Speed Boost) are troublesome, and Sucker Punch from the likes of Hitmontop and Toxicroak will inflict heavy damage. Latios despises paralysis, as it relies on its Speed very much due to its weaknesses and poor physical defense. Beware of Thunder Wave from Pokemon such as Cresselia, Rotom-W, Thundurus, and Gyarados, as it will likely render Latios useless for the remainder of the match. Trick Room also does it no favors as well, for reasons similar to the above.
Latios does not have a Dream World ability. However, as far as unobtainable material goes, Latios can potentially receive Soul Dew from a future event. This exclusive held item boosts Latios's Special Attack and Special Defense by a humongous 50%, turning it into a complete monster. It is very likely, though, that if Soul Dew does get released, it will be banned from use in VGC or any other official Pokemon tournaments, as it has been that way in the past.