CAP 18 CAP 18 - Part 1 - Concept Assessment 2

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What's good, y'all. Not much to say here. Read DetroitLolcat's post below this one. He's our Topic Leader for this project, so he's steering the ship. Look to his guidance throughout this thread. For a recap, read all of the information in this post to see what we've created so far.

Dummy007 said:
Concept: Major Third

General Description: A Pokemon that forms an effective offensive or defensive core with two lesser-used OU Pokemon.

Justification: Cores have always been an integral part of the metagame, whether you're running Talonflame/Staraptor to brute force everything, Slowbro/Amoonguss/Heatran for Regenerator-Leftovers stalling, or a whole team of Dragons + Magnezone. We've previously explored what it takes to make a successful partnership in CAP11 (Voodoom), but the metagame (and the simulator!) has changed dramatically since Voodoom's creation. I would also like to up the ante a little bit: Instead of just one, can we now take TWO Pokemon and find their missing piece? Whether we opt to build on an established two-Pokemon partnership or choose two previously unrelated Pokemon and put them together, I think that we can certainly find a Voodoom for a more offensive time.

Questions to Be Answered:
  • How do effective cores in the current metagame differ fundamentally from the cores of previous metagames, if at all?
  • Is synergy as important (relative to power) in the current metagame as it previously has been? (That is, has power creep rendered synergy unnecessary?)
  • What differences are there between tailoring a Pokemon to two others and tailoring it to one? What else must be considered besides weaknesses and resistances?
  • How does the addition of a Pokemon to a core change what other Pokemon can be effectively run alongside the core?
  • Does Team Preview make running cores more difficult?
  • Is it possible to create a core uncounterable by a single Pokemon? (For example, Celebi/Heatran/Jellicent was a very effective BW core that got slaughtered by Tyranitar. Can a core force opponents to counter it with another core?)
  • Tagging onto the above, what is required to "counter-core" a core? What combination of offensive and defensive characteristics among "counter-core" members achieves this?
1) Pay close attention to the Topic Leader during this discussion. Their job is to keep us focused and to bring insight.
2) Do not poll jump. Poll jumping is a serious offense in these threads, and you can get infracted for it. Poll jumping is when you discuss something that should be discussed in the future, like specifying a CAP's stats or typing. You're allowed to hint at such things to conclude a point or to provide an example, but do not centralize your post on a poll jump. Poll jumping hurts the focus of early threads and can cause us to go off on a tangent. If you're not sure if you're poll jumping or not, err on the side of caution and don't post it.​


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All right, time for Concept Assessment 2! This thread is more like a traditional Concept Assessment in that this thread is where we actually determine how we're going to accomplish the concept. This thread is all about Latias and Lucario and how we're going to make a core that makes CAP18 and these two Pokemon feared in the OU metagame. This thread will conclude with a "plan" to accomplish this concept, then we'll move on to the Typing Discussion.

Lucario's taken a big hit in popularity since its Mega Stone was banned, and it seems to be on a crash-course to UU at the moment. Its viability as a Nasty Plotter has been largely diminshed because of the loss of Adaptability, and its Swords Dance set still has the problem of not being able to hit all of OU's threats with only four moves. The reduction in Speed from 112 to 90 is arguably Lucario's largest drawback, as it no longer can outpace Latios and Latias, Keldeo, the various Base 100 Pokemon, and Garchomp among others. However, Lucario can make up for the loss in base Attack and Special Attack with an item such as Life Orb, and Lucario's excellent movepool hasn't changed a bit. Lucario's main selling point is its fearsome Physical movepool, 4x resistance to Stealth Rock, and deadly ExtremeSpeed. Lucario, however, is arguably the weaker Pokemon in this core. It faces severe team competition from the tougher, faster Mega Pinsir or the bulkier Conkeldurr. We'll have to play to the specific strengths that Lucario has over similar Physical attackers. Latias, however, is a bread-and-butter OU offensive support Pokemon. It's capable of blasting holes in the opponent's team with Draco Meteor, Surf, Psyshock, and Shadow Ball (among plenty of other moves) as well as clearing off the field's hazards with Defog. Although Lucario doesn't particularly take advantage of Latias' Defog support well, the two Pokemon have typings that complement each other nearly perfectly.

I'm going to open this thread up with a few questions to answer along with my initial thoughts on them.

1. What support does Lucario require to sweep or significantly weaken an opponent's team?

Lucario is a sweeper first and foremost. Its goal is to defeat the opponent's last Pokemon. If it can't accomplish that, then it at least wants to rip enough holes in the opponent's team that Latias or CAP18 can finish the opponent off. Lucario's main tools for doing so are Close Combat, Extremespeed, Earthquake, Crunch, and Ice Punch. Unfortunately, Lucario can't run all of those moves at once. Since Swords Dance, Close Combat, and either ExtremeSpeed or Bullet Punch are nothing short of mandatory on Lucario, it's going to have to let itself be walled by some of OU's top threats.

2. What can Latias do to allow Lucario to sweep an opponent's team?

This question's pretty straightforward; Latias can provide an offensive, defensive, and supportive presence to a team. This question essentially boils down to what moveset on Latias is going to best support Lucario. We also have do decide which combination of moves on Lucario can best take advantage of Latias' support.

3. What are Lucario and Latias unable to defeat together? What can CAP 18 do to cover those weaknesses?

Lucario and Latias, together, resist every type besides Flying, Fairy, and Ghost. Latias can hit every type besides Steel and Fairy neutrally or better with Draco Meteor, and Lucario can cover Steel-types with Close Combat. However, this core does have some major troubles with Fairy-type Pokemon such as Clefable. We'll need to identify other weaknesses that this core cannot overcome together, and I suspect many of these weaknesses will stem from Lucario's 90 base Speed.

4. What role should CAP 18 have in this core?

This is the most important question to answer, and this thread's conclusion will essentially be the answer to this question. We have an offensive powerhouse in Lucario. We have a supportive pseudo-wallbreaker in Latias. We need to look at how a hypothetical Pokemon can take advantage of what Lucario and Latias can do. Should CAP18 break walls so Lucario can sweep? Should CAP18 sweep up the Pokemon that Lucario can't? Should CAP18 be a defensive pivot that Lucario or Latias can switch to if they find themselves in trouble?

5. How are we going to make sure this Pokemon benefits Lucario and Latias more than any other Pokemon, especially Pokemon that perform similar roles as Lucario and Latias?

It's no secret that Lucario is often in Mega Pinsir's shadow. Latias competes with Latios for every team slot it finds itself in. When we make a Pokemon that benefits Lucario, we're likely going to benefit other Physical sweepers. When we create a Pokemon that benefits Latias, Latios will likely also benefit. How can we play to the strengths that Lucario and Latias have that similar Pokemon do not?

I intend for this to be a relatively short step, likely 48 or 72 hours. Keep this in mind when posting, please :)


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To try and answer question 3, I've looked through all the OU Pokemon, and here are those that the Lucario/Latias core may have trouble with:
  • Aegislash : Although Lucario can still 2HKO it with Crunch or Earthquake, it cannot switch into a Sacred Sword from the physical variant, and can barely take a Shadow Ball followed by a Shadow Sneak from the mixed variant. And obviously, Latias is countered by Aegislash.
  • Azumarill : It can safely switch into Latias and OHKO with Play Rough, and, if it carries a Choice Band Lucario doesn't have any boosts, it can counter Lucario too, 2HKOing it with Aqua Jet or OHKOing it with any other move, and all it fears is the rare Iron Head or Flash Cannon, both of which are rare. However, if Lucario is at +2, it can potentially finish it off with a combination of Close Combat and Bullet Punch, and therefore no longer acts as a counter.
  • Clefable : Lucario can 2HKO it with Bullet Punch and OHKO it with Iron Head unless the physically defensive set is used, but it cannot switch into a Fire Blast from the LO variant. And it can take on Latias very easily.
  • Conkeldurr : Laitas's Psychock does a number on AV Conkeldurr, but a Knock Off followed by a Mach Punch can be enough to take it out. Conkeldur is a decent counter to Lucario, since it cannot be 2HKO'd without boosts and can OHKO it back with Drain Punch and finish it off with Mach Punch if it's weakened.
  • Garchomp : Can outspeed and OHKO both Lucario and Latias, unless Latias is Timid with Max Speed, in which case Latias outspeeds and OHKOs Garchomp, but can't reliably switch in.
  • Gliscor : Stops Lucario cold if it doesn't carry Ice Punch. Latias also has trouble with it, since it can't 2HKO it with Draco Meteor, although it can wear it down with Surf and doesn't fear anything besides Knock Off.
  • Landorus-T : Much like Gliscor, Ladorus fears nothing besides Ice Punch and can retaliat with Earthquake. Latias can 2HKO with Surf, but only has a small chance of doing so with Draco Meteor. Landorus can, in return, hurt it very hard wth U-Turn.
  • Mandibuzz : I'm not too sure about this one. Close Combat cannot 2HKO the physically defensive variant, however, Mandibuzz's only way of dealing damage is through Knock Off or Foul Play, both of which increase Lucario's attack. Lucario can definitely boost his stats but Mandibuzz can use Whirlwind to phaze it out. And, of course, Mandibuzz always wins against Latias.
  • Mawile : Mawile can cut Lucario's attack with Intimidate, making it unlikely to 2HKO with Close Combat unless it has already boosted its attack, and can OHKO with Play Rough. However, if hasn't mega-evolved yet, it cannot counter Lucario any more. It can always counter Latias, only fearing the rare HP Fire.
  • Pinsir : Lucario can barely touch Pinsir without Iron Head, and gets decimated by Earthquake. Latias can deal a hefty chunk with Draco Meteor, but gets dealt with with a combination of Return and Quick Attack.
  • Skarmory : Lucario cannot 2HKO it without boosts, but, unlike Mandibuzz, Skarmory can retaliate correctly, 2HKOing Lucario with Brave Bird. Latias can only 2HKO it with HP Fire.
  • Talonflame : Choice Banded Talonflame counters Lucario very cleanly no matter how many boosts he has, and can nearly OHKO Latias who can retaliate with Draco Meteor, Surf or Dragon Pluse. If Latias is at full health and had a free switch, it can defeat Banded Talonflame. If either have had prior damage, Talonflame wins. (Of course, Talonflame can always U-turn out, causing great damage in the process)
That's all I could really find in OU. If I forgot something important, please feel free to point it out!

One thing I would really like to know is why use Laitas over Latios? I can't really think of a Pokemon that would advantage Latias when paired up with it and wouldn't also help Latios. We really need to focus on Latias's defensive capabilities more than anything, I think. Otherwise, we might be helping Latios more than we do Latias, and we don't really want to do that.
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Two things I think need to be immediately addressed is in what capacity can Lucario and Latias not be outclassed. Which was a question raised by DLC.

Latias faces severe competition from her brother Latios, only excelling defensively. So for the purpose of creating a CAP that works specifically with Luke and Latias, we need to be focusing on defensive Latias spreads. Latias can take pretty much any neutral special hit without any fuss, and Lucario, despite it's low defenses can take most Bug type attacks through courtesy of typing alone. This leaves Dark / Ghost / Ice / Dragon / Fairy that Luke would have to take for Latias in the current pair. (Ignoring the four other slots.)

The biggest problem is that despite typing synergy, Lucario can't afford to be taking repeated attacks and passive damage, especially given that it will normally be running Life Orb on a sweeping set now that it's mega form is banned.

Now on to Lucario. It's biggest competition, as DLC so rightly pointed out, is Conkeldurr and Mega-Pinsir. It is faster than Conk, which gives it an advantage, despite the awkward speed tier, however it does have a different set of threats it can take out. MegaSir on the other hand fits into Lucario's niche as a cleaning booster is almost well and truly overrun. The fact of the matter is that it is outgunned. We obviously don't want to make a CAP that works well with Pinsir just as much as Luke so I think an important point is to have something that is weak to the threats that Luke covers that Pinsir is weak to. However, these are made up entirely of Mamoswine, Weavile and Bronzong and Rotom-W. Not great.

The important one here is Rotom-W, simply because Lucario can punch holes through it, Handily 2HKOing it, especially if he has Lum to take the burn. And OHKOing with the right spread against Specially defensive spreads.
The others are the only bits that give Lucario any sort of niche against Mega-Pinsir.

Another consideration, is that Lucario can take neutral special hits from Pokemon like Zapdos and Rotom much better if Latias is running a Light Screen set ala Gen 5 Ubers, plus it then is able to take some of the resisted special hits.

So that all said tl;dr
CAP18 needs to be weak to Rotom-W, Weavile, Bronzong and Mamoswine.
CAP18 can either be an offensive partner, or defensive partner, but doesn't need special defense.
When considering the core, Latias should only be talked about in a defensive capacity.

Other little considerations.
Lucario loves hazards support, Defog Latias is probably not the best idea.


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1. What support does Lucario require to sweep or significantly weaken an opponent's team?

Lucario specifically has issues with pretty much anything slower that can take a +2 CC, or anything faster that can take a +2 ES. Against stall teams, its going to need to find a set up opportunity against the phazers stall teams have, as well as break past Unaware Clefable, against more balanced teams, its going to need to break past Aegislash, Gliscor, Landorus-T, Mega Venusaur, Togekiss (?), Zapdos (?), Gyarados (?), Slowbro, Sableye, and Conkeldurr, and against offensive teams it needs to find set up opportunities against a HO style team, as well as avoid Azumarill, Gengar, and Aegislash. Sure, this is a big list, and sure, with either Ice Punch or Crunch, or in the case of a little bit of residual damage in the case of a few of the above flying types, Lucario can beat some of these mons on its own, but most of these (specially Aegislash, Gliscor, Landorus-T, Mega Venusaur, Conkeldurr, Azumarill, Gengar and maybe Zapdos) are fairly / decently common, and thus need to be prepared for. I suspect its going to be impossible to beat every single one of the above mons, but at least the list is there if people want to think about it

2. What can Latias do to allow Lucario to sweep an opponent's team?

As DLC knows, I asked him this, and the answer is pretty much hit something with Draco Meteor and thats it. Latias offers next to nothing to Lucario besides using Defog to remove Spikes from a HO lead, or maybe switching into a Mach Punch or something. Maybe I am being a little unfair, but one significant issue I can forsee is Latias being far more useful to better sweepers than Lucario, something we want to watch as our core is CAP + Latias + Lucario, and not (say) CAP + Latias + Mega Pinser
3. What are Lucario and Latias unable to defeat together? What can CAP 18 do to cover those weaknesses?

Latias has 4 moveslots, one of them will be DM, one of them will (likely) be Defog, which leaves Psyshock, Surf, Shadow Ball, Roost and Thunderbolt being fairly decent options. With some of these moves, we can remove some of Lucario's counters, which makes the list fluctuate a bit, but we can draw a few quick conclusions. To me, Aegislash still stands out as being a massive dick to the core, Sableye as well although thats far more rare. Bisharp gets a free +2 off a Defog that Latias would be forced to use if Spikes go up early (and Lucario cannot switch in, and has to win a coinflip to actually beat Bisharp in a 1v1 situation). Clefable has potentially to cockblock us a fair bit, and Azumarill, Slowbro, Togekiss can be a bit frustrating, although again, the last two are fairly uncommon. Mega Venusaur and AV Conkeldurr are annoying (although perhaps not unbeatable) if Latias forgoes Psyshock, or elects not to maximise its Special Attack, and lastly anything that can beat Lucario, and can set up on a -2 Draco Meteor, is momentum killing for this core.

This CAP ideally really needs to threaten Aegislash, I personally believe it should put forward significant offensive pressure upon it, simply because we cannot trap it, and thus, merely scaring it out fails to deal with the problem of Aegislash walling us cold. Ideally speaking, our CAP should either be capable of unleashing a huge source of damage even off a resisted hit which FORCES Aegislash in (think something like CB Dragonite with Outrage) to take large chunks of damage, OR it has to give your opponent a fear of bringing in Aegislash, least you give our CAP a chance at setting up, ergo, it could take a Set Up Sweeper route, putting pressure on it that way.
4. What role should CAP 18 have in this core?

As I said above, ideally something that can either set up on Aegislash, or force it in to take huge chunks of damage is what CAP 18 really needs to do. Merely "having fire type STAB" isn't decent enough if it fails to enforce pressure on the opponent's team, as they simply switch out Aegislash, continuing to have a Lucario wall in his back pocket.
5. How are we going to make sure this Pokemon benefits Lucario and Latias more than any other Pokemon, especially Pokemon that perform similar roles as Lucario and Latias?

Sadly, the long and short of this is that I don't even think we can. Latias is generically a good mon, its fast, has a nice typing, recovery, and Defog, as well as the fact its currently sitting at #3 in the SPL usage stats for Week 8 shows just how much of a good mon it is, as well as how great it is slotting into most team styles, let alone team cores. Its an excellent "glue" or "6th mon" that you can throw onto most teams and do well, I highly doubt we could do anything to discourage its usage within other cores.

Lucario is a different matter, primarily because there are loads of other physical sweepers that just do a better job. I hate to end this post on such a negative note, but as I see it, there is next to nothing that this CAP could do to boost Lucario's viability in OU, that wouldn't be enjoyed by any other sweeper in the game. Aegislash...Landorus-T...Clefable...Mega Venusaur. These are some of the best and most common physical walls out there, therefore CAP 18 would be a welcome partner to ANY core or mon that appreciates these mon being removed, yet on the other hand, if CAP 18 DOESN'T beat these pokemon, then it doesn't help Lucario either. Anyway, this was always going to be the problem with this core, and we don't have any other option but to try and make this CAP as helpful to Lucario as possible, and just accept the fact its going to have the same issues as Perfect Mate did a few years ago.

When considering the core, Latias should only be talked about in a defensive capacity.
Other little considerations.
Lucario loves hazards support, Defog Latias is probably not the best idea.
Respectfully but 100% disagree. Defog is very much THE reason to use Latias in a metagame where hazards are just so common. Sure, Lucario might not enjoy SR being off the field, but then its sure as hell not going to like switching in and taking a shitload from hazards up against it either. Defensive Latias is also fairly good, but without offensive EVs, its unable to beat some of the pokemon it could, pokemon that are frustrating to Lucario. For instance, without offensive EVs, Defensive Mega Venusaur threatens both mons in this core, and thats something I would rather like to cut down on. I personally don't really care of Latios gets more than Latias, its largely out of our hands, often comes down to the personal preference of the player, and its going to be difficult to control in the first place. They are not much different anyway :/
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I think the best way to tie this CAP to the core would be to capitalize on Latias's bulk and defensive typing and Lucario's STAB, something no other Pokemon can effectively do without changing the core greatly. No Pokemon has the same typing as Latias except Latios, a less bulky alternative. Similarly, Lucario's typing is shared only by Cobalion, a Pokemon that plays NOTHING like Lucario. We have to think not only of what checks and counters this team, but what makes these Pokemon differently from their peers. We have to not only cover the weaknesses of these Pokemon, but we must also compliment their strengths.


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I partially agree with ginga that it will be hard to produce a good third for the core without it being quite good for the same core without Lucario and with another pokemon replacing him. However, I think we should at least try to avoid / mitigate this problem and thus focus on finding out what differentiates our core (in particular, Lucario) to its competitors. Let's say we think Lucario + Latias + CAP would be a good core, but we fear M-Pinsir + Latias + CAP will outclass it just because M-Pinsir is actually better than Luke. We could then realize that Pinsir, without a STAB Fighting move, striggles to go past Skarmory, while Lucario can (sort of) do so with the aid of a LO. Since Latias doesn't excel against Skarmory already, if CAP doesn't do particularly well against it, then M-Pinsir + Latias + CAP isn't that much attractive while the other core gains at least a little edge over the previously mentioned one. This is indeed a very stupid and partial example, but I think reasonings of this kind should be part of our discussion to avoid the problem Perfect Mate faced, or at least try to do so.

Of course we should also keep in mind what we do want CAP to do for us, since I agree with basically everyone else that at the moment Aegislash looks like a huge pain in the rear for us, but I think that will be somewhat easier to assess compared to the issues I just mentioned.


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o dicks this is a lot to discuss in 72 hours, let's start from the top

At a first glance, this core struggles with Flyspam, Pursuit users (especially Aegislash), bulky Grounds, and Fairy-Types. You called latias a pseudo-wallbreaker but it's not; the DM is not powerful enough to break any but the shittiest of walls. What it is is a pseudo-Revenge Killer with that 110 base speed, being able to threaten most of the tier's glassier cannons if it gets a free switch. The most notable of things this core cannot break is the Ground-type, which is like gen six's version of the Bulky Water. Well technically latias could take Hippo with Grass Knot, but that's pretty much a terrible idea in my opinion, because latias loses most of its usefulness if that's its second attacking move. I shouldn't have to explain why FlySpam, Pursuit, and Fairy-Types are good against this core, hopefully.

This raises the question of how to beat them. Most especially, how the fuck do you beat pursuit users? it's cute to think that Magnet Pull would be enough to dissuade them but honestly once they've gotten rid of Latias they've done their job, unless we make CAP18 a good secondary check to what Pursuit users are usually supporting (notably Zard-Y). However, I think perhaps a better option is what ginga suggested—make the cap a complementary sweeper that sets up on the core's counters, scaring them out. For example, my OU team is pretty Mega Pinsir weak (I'm working on it ok? v_v). I have a conkeldurr to stop what conkeldurr usually stops, like Rotom-W, but I can't use it well against teams with mega pinsir because if I try, I'll get set up on. This means their Rotom-W is free to run over my team. this is an example of how the CAP should probably discourage use of Pursuit.

As to FlySpam, Fairies, and Bulky Grounds, I think there's not too much to be said here except type advantage. Unfortunately, I can't think of any typings that are good against all three (unless we do fire/elec with levitate), because they're probably the three best offensive types in the game coming from different angles x_x, and to get FlySpam we need to cover fire as well. So if someone else could come up with a more clever way to beat them—especially the bulky Grounds—that'd be fantastic. Alternatively, we could outsource the covering of one or more of those things to outside of our 3-mon core. The most important thing here is still playing to the core's strengths IMO, not crapping on its weaknesses. Otherwise, as ginga said, we'll end up with Pinsir+Latias+CAP18, since that core really appreciates the elimination of Pursuit, FlySpam, and Bulky Grounds. Maybe this will just be a rehashing of the lessons we got from Voodoom, which disappoints me. But we can try our damnedest to make it so that doesn't happen.

As for how to do that, I'm still not sure. If we do decide to go the complementary sweeper route, I'd like to see that it loses to Pokemon that lucario, but not m-pinsir, can beat, and vice-versa. ginga has a good list of what Lucario needs help with. Sadly, I am struggling to picture any Pokemon that Lucario can beat and Pinsir can't. Lucario is pretty bad. If someone could help me out here, that'd be great.
This is a tall order. Too tall, in my opinion. AV Conkeldurr can take most hits better than Lucario even without the Steel typing's resistance to random special attacks. Guts also means that adding support like Toxic Spikes to a defensive core benefits Conk more - though it does put Mega Pinsir on a chain unless it MEvolves before TSpikes are down. Neutrality to Fairy rather than weakness is about the only real benefit.

That said, I can think of a few ways this can be addressed effectively.

1. Complementary type.

In order to avoid poll-jumping, let me just say that our typing should be able to threaten Aegislash, threaten Pokemon Lucario doesn't threaten effectively in general, lure moves that Latias can tank (Lucario can't tank anything it doesn't 4x resist, Latias is the meatshield here), and counter Pokemon that Latias can't. Physical Defense is going to be a important because Talonflame, Scizor, & co. have very strong priority, but the only way to resist and threaten most of it is to be Part Electric (SE against Azu, Resists Bullet Paunch and Brave Bird), a type that doesn't have a combination that matches up well against ones that threaten Aegislash effectively. I have ideas for this typing, but that's the next thread.

2. Additional one-move support.

If our CAP can set up additional hazards that are non-threatening to Lucario and Latias (TSpikes comes to mind), it will make Lucario's wallbreaking job easier, and allow CAP to follow up a Latias Defog by resetting hazards. Essentially our CAP's set should be one Team Support Move (Hazard/Screen), and then either a Booster/Recovery and Two Attacks or Three Attacks.

3. (More emphasis) Latias is the meatshield.

While I think our CAP should have a decent level of physical defense, our real backstop against Grounds is going to have to be Latias. It's immune to their attacks, has recovery, and it can use Surf or Ice Beam to scarf most of them away. Truthfully, I think if we build the CAP right we'll be using Dragon solely as a defensive type because the coverage is going to be more important than the STAB. Latias can soak up hits, possibly provide Wish support to Lucario and our CAP to enable their sweeps, and serve as the answer to stronger Ground, Fighting, and Fire-type attacks. [Wish is also, incidentally, one of the moves Latias gets that Latios does not.]
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I am not experienced in using either of these pokemon, so feel free to point out if this is wrong or a bad idea.

As far as keeping Lucario from being outclassed from Pinsir and Conkeldurr,Lucario has flexibility Iin its item slot. I dont think LO is absolutely necessary for it the way AV is for Conk.It could go with Lefties, or even Lum or Weakness Policy.
In my opinion, what separates Lucario from Pinsir and Conkeldurr is it's ability to go both Physical and Special with above average attacking stats in both cases, making it quite versatile and adept at surprising the opponent. However, the downside to this is that it's quite easy from looking at a team to figure out which Lucario is being run(in most cases, it's Physical) and accordingly prepare.
The best way to get around this in my mind is to create a CAP that ,like Lucario, can go both Physical and Special, thus keeping the opponent clueless as to which one is Physical and which one is Special - a surprise factor that gives this core a niche.
The advantages of such a CAP are mainly that said CAP would be far more effective with Lucario than say, M-Pinsir or Conkeldurr because there's no surprise factor - it's common knowledge both are physical sweepers.
The CAP would also need to cover up for the lack of speed Lucario has, which is compounded by the fact that Sticky Web is not a viable solution because Latias's Defog would remove the Sticky Web as well.
To conclude, I doubt our CAP will be able to solve ALL the problems of this core, but we should try and deal with the most major ones and leave the others to teambuilding(for instance, priority like Talonflame's BB can be dealt with by running Rotom-W, etc).
I'm not entirely sure focusing on Defog Latias is prudent, for several reasons:

1. Lucario takes next to nothing from SR, and on the flipside, enjoys hazards on the opposing side immensely.
2. By running Defog, Latias loses a lot of her versatility.
3. Depending on the route we take with the CAP, Rapid Spin could be an option which mostly outclasses Defog for the reasons stated above.

I don't really understand the synergy between Lati and Luca, to be honest, as it wasn't elaborated on too much in the last topic, so I'm going to go back to basics. Lucario has very workable attacking stats on both the special and physical side, with his special stats being marginally better, and an ability to boost either. This can lead to some serious utility with a mixed set that M-Pinsir cannot replicate. With Aura Sphere, Luca can deal significant damage to Skarmory, much more than Close Combat could hope to do, and on the special side of the spectrum, Lucario doesn't need to play mindgames with Aegislash, having access to Dark Pulse. A moveset of ES, CC, SD and Aura Sphere/Dark Pulse could see some serious utility. He could also run Agility as a late-game cleaner, allowing him to use Close Combat or High Jump Kick to devastating effect. High Jump Kick also has great use as an Aegislash lure, which with proper prediction, can punch a hole in him with Crunch/Dark Pulse. he sits at an awkward speed tier, and an awkward raw attack power; he's a bit of a jack of all trades, but excels at nothing in particular. Life Orb would help with this a little, but I just don't think it's going to be enough. Ideally, Lucario wants to be an Extremespeed cleaner, as he's liable to just get straight up OHKOed if he can't take something out instantly.

Latias can support Lucario quite well, with that in mind. With access to Wish, Latias could function as a cleric, healing off Luca's Life Orb damage, but she's incredibly weak to Pursuit trapping. Ample scouting of movesets is absolutely imperative to keeping her alive. She hits hardish with Draco Meteor, and has good coverage options.

The two of them together have serious problems with Garchomp, who could tear through both of them, and...well, pretty much anything that can take a hit and hit hard from the physical side in return. They have some useful type synergy, but that won't matter against attacks that do strong neutral damage to one or both, like Aegislash's Shadow Ball, or Talonflame's Brave Bird. They also struggle on the physical side of the spectrum, with M-Pinsir tearing through them both.

Ideally, this CAP will be able to tank physical hits, and threaten out counters like Talon and Aegis. As far as team support goes, due to the kind of lacking firepower in this core, hazard stacking would be seriously useful, as would Thunder Wave/Will-o-Wisp support, softening up targets for one of the other two to nuke when available.
Before I directly answer DetroitLoLCat's questions, I'd like to specifically speak to how we can prevent our chosen pokemon from being outclassed.

Because both of our pokemon are in areas of extremely high competition (Latias as a specially-oriented Dragon and Lucario as a Fighting type), it's easy to pick out examples of what other, more popular pokemon do better then our pokemon. Let's instead focus on what our pokemon do better then their competitors, so we can ensure to the best of our ability that they won't be outclassed.

Latias' advantages over Latios, for example, is that it has the higher Special Defense of the pair and is therefore better able to make use of the numerous utility options the Eon duo has access to like Tailwind, Defog, Wish, and Healing Wish. It's true that Latios has access to the former two as well, but Latios won't carry them when it's so much better as a full out special sweeper/revenge killer. In order to emphasize Latias' niche, we should build CAP 18 around Latias running a specially defensive utility set (not Assault Vest).

With Lucario, it's more difficult to justify taking him because among Fighting types he's squishier then Conkledurr, a weaker "glue" mon then Terrakion (who can be thrown onto an awful lot of teams and still function), and a weaker pure sweeper then Medicham-M. We should focus on Lucario's ability to go mixed more then anything else-he actually has HIGHER base special attack then physical attack, a rarity among fighting types.

He is one of the few pokemon to possess powerful STAB on both sides of the spectrum (Close Combat/Iron Head Tail for physical, Aura Sphere/Flash Cannon for special) AND the stats to use them with 110/115/90 offenses. On top of that, he also possesses priority moves on both sides of the spectrum (Espeed/Bullet Punch for physical, Vacuum Wave for special), a great movepool with coverage on both sides (Ice Punch/Thunder Punch/Blaze Kick/Crunch/EQ on the physical side, Dragon Pulse/Dark Pulse/Water Pulse (!) on the special side), and four powerful boosting moves in SD (physical only), NP (special only), Work Up (both sides), and Agility (compensates for low speed).

His large movepool constitutes one of Lucario's key advantages over other fighting types: variability. Conkledurr has two sets, really; Sheer Force with STAB+elemental punches and Guts with Bulk Up. Medicham comes in, Mega Evolves, and starts spamming Hi Jump Kick. Terrakion is either Double Dance or Choice Scarf. All of those pokemon hit on the physical side only, whereas Lucario can hit on both. The only other fighting type with comparable mixed sweeping prowess is Infernape, who has better speed and slightly better base defenses (76/71/71 versus 70/70/70) and an equally wide movepool, but who must compete with Talonflame/Charizard-MX/Victini and apparently Entei now (?) on the physical side, and Charizard-MY/Volcarona on the special side, on top of having worse defensive typing then Lucario.

Now, I'm sure the next thing that comes to mind is: "Lucario can't use all of that stuff at once! If he's running a setup move, he only gets 3 attacks, and one if not two of them have to be STAB!" However, he doesn't HAVE to be our sweeper. A core built around enabling a Lucario sweep with Tailwind/Wish support from Latias or Baton Passed boosts from MajorTriad (or both but idk how that would work) is definitely an option, but we can also focus on Lucario's luring abilities and ability to come in on Dark type attacks intended for Latias to lure in a counter to MajorTriad and promptly eliminate it.

With Lucario's expansive movepool and many possible sets (SD/NP/Choice Scarf are all considered traditionally viable), the burden of prediction falls squarely on the opponent, who must bring in the proper counter for the set Lucario is running and shut him down. If the opponent predicts the set incorrectly, Lucario will get free setup and bust holes in their team. One crucial function of MixLucario, then, is luring-it's a magnet for both walls like Clefable and Skarmory and revenge killers like Talonflame and Pinsir-M, and with the right move choice it can shatter them on the switch. If the opponent brings in the wrong counter, Lucario can set up boosts and potentially sweep itself.

To finish this massive attempt to sell you Lucario, I'll just say this: let's not lose track of the main features of Lucario over other Fighting types. Stay focused on the things that make Lucario different from other fighting types. Let's base our MajorTriad around those things and benefitting from Latias' special bulk and team support, instead of trying to shoehorn Lucario into a physical sweeper mold just because "Latias is using special moves, therefore Lucario must be pure physical!"

The gist of the hide tag section, for those who don't want to or don't need to see the reasoning behind my support of MixLucario, is this:

Lucario's niches among fighting types:

-Has the offensive stats to go mixed
-MUCH MORE VERSATILE then other comparable Fighting types, with better defensive typing then Infernape (its only true competitor for "mixed fighting type")
-Multiple priority options (including the rare, usually unused Vacuum Wave)
-Wide movepool with lots of coverage options

Places where Lucario is outclassed (we should avoid these):

-Unboosted physical sweeping. Medicham-M hits much harder without boosts then Lucario.
-Bulky spreads. Conkledurr does this better with its Bulk Up set.
-Choice Scarf "glue" mon for offensive teams. Terrakion does this better.

And now for Latias...

Latias' niches over similar pokemon:

-Stronger special defense then Latios, much faster then Goodra and has Roost. Can serve as a happy medium between the two.
-Has much more in terms of utility then Goodra (Wish, Tailwind, and Defog are all things Goodra could only dream of) and can use those options better then her squishier brother, Latios
-Synergizes well with Lucario defensively; can come in on Earthquakes and Fire attacks aimed at Lucario, while Lucario can come in on unboosted Dark and Ice attacks for her.
-Numerous team support options like Thunder Wave, Toxic, Trick, dual screens, and Confide/Charm to neuter offensive pokemon

Places where Latias is outclassed:

-Calm Mind boosting+sweeping. Latios does it better among Dragon types, Gardevoir-M and Reuniclus do it better among Psychic types
-Specially-oriented Assault Vest. Again outclassed by Latios, who naturally hits harder, and Goodra, who gains ungodly special bulk with an effective base Special Defense of 293.016 (assuming level 100, an IV of 31, and max EV investment with a positive nature)
-Anything physical, by other dragons. Lol

Assuming that we decide to run support Latias (the only real set she can run without being outclassed), here are our options for both Lucario as the sweeper and Lucario as a lure:

1. What support does Lucario require to sweep or significantly weaken an opponent's team?

In order to outright sweep the opposing team, Lucario needs to either boost its speed and use high-powered attacks like Close Combat/Aura Sphere, Flash Cannon/Iron Head, and coverage, or it needs to boost its attacking stats and then sweep with priority moves like Extremespeed, Vacuum Wave, and Bullet Punch. Either goal can be accomplished by Lucario himself if he is provided opportunities to switch in and free turns to setup-however, these goals can also be aided by team support. Latias can provide Tailwind to help Lucario's lackluster speed through the first few opponents, or our Major Third could Baton Pass boosts to Lucario to sweep with.

2. What can Latias do to allow Lucario to sweep an opponent's team?

Latias, other then having strong defensive synergy with Lucario thanks to resisting Fire and having Levitate, has two support moves that are a godsend for Lucario: Tailwind and Wish. Wish allows Latias to heal Lucario when it comes in, putting it in a better position to sweep; Tailwind grants Lucario the speed he lacks to smash through the enemy team.

3. What are Lucario and Latias unable to defeat together? What can CAP 18 do to cover those weaknesses?

Together, Latias and Lucario both struggle against Fairy types, as they hit Latias for super effective damage and Lucario neutrally, while being immune to Latias' Dragon stab and resisting Lucario's fighting STAB (which forces him to bring a Steel type move as a sweeper). They also have problems against Aegislash, Landorus-T, and Skarmory because of the combination of moves Latias must take to avoid being outclassed by Latios and the specific coverage Lucario is forced to bring to deal with Fairies. With Lucario already carrying a boosting move and a Steel attack, his only option to break through all three is Blaze Kick/Ice Punch for the final two moves, which leaves him walled by bulky Water types like Rotom-W and Gyarados. He can break through these pokemon with Thunderpunch, but in exchange must give up the ability to hit either Skarmory/Aegislash or get the point.

Essentially, the MajorTriad must have the ability to mitigate the effects of Lucario's 4 moveslot syndrome. This can be done in any number of ways:

-Baton Passing Lucario boosts, allowing it to carry a fourth STAB or coverage move
-reliably eliminating or crippling specific Lucario counters, allowing Lucario to break through with the help of Tailwind and/or his own setup
-laying Dual Screens to give Lucario the ability to use his more powerful moves without having to worry about priority

4. What role should CAP 18 have in this core?

With Lucario as the sweeper, CAP18 should be a pokemon who capitalizes on the already good defensive synergy of Latias and Lucario, by being able to come in on their shared Fairy type weakness and pass attacks back to the other members for free switches. Additionally, CAP18 should EITHER be able to pass boosts to Lucario to better enable it to sweep OR be able to effectively remove or cripple its counters.

If we choose the Baton Passing route, then in order to make sure CAP18 is best suited to Lucario, the boosts should either be hybrid (such as Growth/Work Up) to enable Lucario to go mixed (allowing him to more easily break through his counters) or pure Speed (Speed Boost/Agility passing) in order to make the boosts less useful to both already fast sweepers like Talonflame, Pinsir-M, and Greninja, but also to hurt Aegislash's ability to pair with CAP18 (as it can also run mixed sets with worse coverage but better defenses).

If we choose the "eliminating counters" route, CAP18 should be able to counter two or three (but not ALL) of Lucario's bulky opponents (Aegislash/Landorus-T/Skarmory/Gliscor/Mandibuzz/Mawile-M/Garchomp(-M)) and be able to switch in on the powerful priority of unboosted Talonflame, Pinsir-M, and Azumarill. After switching in, it should be able to quickly and reliably either force them out or KO them.

5. How are we going to make sure this Pokemon benefits Lucario and Latias more than any other Pokemon, especially Pokemon that perform similar roles as Lucario and Latias?

See above. Here's a quick rundown, though:

-Resistant to Fairy type attacks, can pass attacks back to either Latias or Lucario. Possibly physically bulky to contrast with Latias' special bulk, but this isn't a necessity
-(if we choose to Baton Pass stuff to Lucario) Can Baton Pass hybrid attacking boosts OR Speed boosts. CANNOT Baton Pass moves like Quiver Dance, Dragon Dance/Gear Shift, or Shell Smash, and does NOT have significantly bulky Substitutes
-(if we choose to eliminate some of Lucario's counters) Can reliably switch in on and KO two or three of Lucario's bulky opponents (allowing Lucario to ignore them in his coverage selection) and can reliably tank priority attacks from UNBOOSTED Talonflame, Pinsir-M, and Azumarill.
-Can also benefit from Wish support and/or Defog support from Latias

1. What support does Lucario require to sweep or significantly weaken an opponent's team?

As a lure, Lucario can reliably eliminate certain pokemon who switch in assuming Lucario is running a different set. This could help clear the way for a sweep by CAP18. In order to support Lucario's baiting efforts, he needs to be set up in a way that he could APPEAR to cause a significant, possibly game-ending threat to the enemy team if left unchecked; this could come in the form of Tailwind, a Baton Passed Substitute, or even Dual Screens. Then, when the opponent switches in a counter to the Lucario set they predicted, Lucario can hit them with a supereffective coverage move to OHKO or 2HKO all but the bulkiest mons.

2. What can Latias do to allow Lucario to sweep an opponent's team?

Same as above, really. Tailwind support makes Lucario a pressing short term threat that the opponent needs to deal with, either by stalling out Tailwind turns or by hitting him with a powerful priority attack. After Lucario's eliminated a counter, he may have to switch out as the opponent recognizes the lure set and brings in an actual appropriate counter. Latias' Wish and/or Defog support can assist him in coming in multiple times to eliminate CAP18's counters.

(Notably, the same support is also useful for CAP18 as the true sweeper of the core with a luring Lucario)

3. What are Lucario and Latias unable to defeat together? What can CAP 18 do to cover those weaknesses?

With Lucario in a luring role, he doesn't need to worry about being the team's main sweeper and can focus on running a full moveset of coverage moves to eliminate shared switch-ins of Lucario and CAP18. This significantly reduces the number of shared counters between Lucario and Latios, although bulky Fairy types with secondary typing that resists Bullet Punch/Flash Cannon can still cause problems (Mawile-M, Azumarill) and dedicated walls can come in on Lucario because as a lure he most likely won't be boosting and will be relying on supereffective hits and surprise value to eliminate enemy pokemon. CAP18 will need to be resistant to priority and Fairy attacks as per usual, and will also have to be able to come in on walls without being crippled and set up for the true sweep.

4. What role should CAP 18 have in this core?

CAP18 should be focused on defensive synergy with Lucario and Latias to rotate between them, just like normally. After Lucario has lured in and eliminated a check or counter it shares with CAP18 (which we should devote a stage of the process to determining), CAP18 should be able to come in on the next free switch the team obtains, set up, and blast through the enemy team. It's especially important that CAP18 not pose a significant threat before setting up if Lurecario is a core member; otherwise there's no reason to set up when Choice Scarf CAP18 and Life Orb CAP18 are available. CAP18's movepool should be tight and focused, with one or two setup moves plus STAB and weak coverage, to ensure that it shares the desired counters with Lucario's regular sets; otherwise, there'll be no point in running Lurecario when CAP18 already has the coverage to break through its counters.

5. How are we going to make sure this Pokemon benefits Lucario and Latias more than any other Pokemon, especially Pokemon that perform similar roles as Lucario and Latias?

The simplest way to ensure CAP18 benefits most from a Lurecario/Specially Defensive Latias pairing is to disallow it from having recovery. This will make it rely on Latias' Wish/Healing Wish support in order to remain healthy. A weakness to hazards (whether to Spikes or to Stealth Rock) could serve to emphasize this further. Finally, CAP18 and Lucario's standard sets should share at least 2 to 3, if not more counters and checks; this will make Lurecario that much more effective at removing them.

sorry this post was so long but I had nothing to do and I got hyped about it.

EDIT: the website i was on thought he got iron head...strange because everything else I got there was correct
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I dunno if this is jumping the gun a little, but Lucario has a really useful 4x Rock resistance going for him, one of the only ones in the game; our CAP can make use of that to pass attacks to Lucario if need be. Tailwind is also a great option for Latias, giving Lucario the boost it needs to hit first; it might be worthwhile looking into Choice sets, as that gives Lucario the immediate boost it'd need to take advantage of that.


lurks in the shadows
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First of all, there are some Pokemon mentioned here that cannot deal with Lucario at all, depending on its moveset. For example:
Against stall teams, its going to need to find a set up opportunity against the phazers stall teams have, as well as break past Unaware Clefable, against more balanced teams, its going to need to break past Aegislash, Gliscor, Landorus-T, Mega Venusaur, Togekiss (?), Zapdos (?), Gyarados (?), Slowbro, Sableye, and Conkeldurr, and against offensive teams it needs to find set up opportunities against a HO style team, as well as avoid Azumarill, Gengar, and Aegislash.
One of the nice things with Lucario is that it can break past common stall cores with just its STABs. With Close Combat / Iron Tail / Extremspeed / Swords Dance, it can OHKO Unaware max HP / max Def+ Clefable after SR, do 72% minimum to max HP / max Def+ Mega Venusaur, and 76% minimum damage against 252 HP / 184 Def+ Gliscor. As for Azumarill, either Iron Tail or Earthquake are enough to do the job:
  • +2 252+ Atk Life Orb Lucario Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Azumarill (CB): 333-393 (82.4 - 97.2%) -- 62.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
  • +2 252+ Atk Life Orb Lucario Iron Tail vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Azumarill (CB): 499-589 (123.5 - 145.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
  • +2 252+ Atk Life Orb Lucario Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Azumarill (Belly Drum): 333-393 (97.9 - 115.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
  • +2 252+ Atk Life Orb Lucario Iron Tail vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Azumarill (Belly Drum): 499-589 (146.7 - 173.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO
And even if the CB Azumarill wants to revenge kill Lucario with Aqua Jet after a Close Combat Defense drop, +2 Extremspeed does ~72% to 252 HP Azumarill, so with just a tiny bit of previous damage and SR up, it can be OHKOed.

Same goes for Aegislash, which is easily OHKOed by +2 Eearthquake.

However, Lucario obviously has to choose between Iron Tail and Earthquake, so we have to make sure that whatever threat Lucario can't cover with our move of choice will be covered by the CAP.

Now, on to DLC' questions:

1. What support does Lucario require to sweep or significantly weaken an opponent's team?

As others have already mentioned, Lucario needs Ground-types weakened, namely Hippowdon, Garchomp, Landorus-T, Gliscor, Landorus, and Choice Scarf Excadrill. Fairy-types are not such a big problem, as Lucario can easily deal with them if it chooses so, but it would be good for the CAP to have the ability to at least threaten them 1 on 1 if Lucario forgoes Iron Tail for Earthquake, or even Ice Punch, so that Lucario can have some versatility when taking part in this core, and not always be forced to run Iron Tail. Good offensive checks to Lucario other than fast Ground-types are Conkeldurr, Terrakion, Keldeo, Gengar, and Gyarados, but all of them except from Gengar and Terrakion have to be in tip top shape to handle Lucario. The CAP should fare well against most of those Pokemon that Latias can't handle, meaning Gengar, Gyarados, and somewhat Conkeldurr and Terrakion (which Latias can OHKO with Psyshock but struggles to switch in, as Knock Off OHKOes, though if Lucario stays in as Conkeldurr uses Knock Off then the game is most likely over). As for defensive checks other than Ground-types, we have Aegislash, Zapdos, Sableye, and Slowbro, and Fairy-types / Mega Venusaur if Lucario lacks Iron Tail. Latias can switch into Zapdos and Slowbro, but struggles to get past Zapdos, and hates switching into Thunder Wave from Slowbro, so if the CAP could threaten those Pokemon in some way it would be nice, but not a must. However, the CAP should definitely be able to threaten and switch into Aegislash, a huge threat to both Lucario and Latias. Something to handle Sableye would be nice as well, as both Latias and Lucario can't get past it.

2. What can Latias do to allow Lucario to sweep an opponent's team?

The best that Latias can do to allow Lucario to sweep is attract Pokemon that Lucario can set up on, so that Lucario comes in with a double switch against those Pokemon. Such Pokemon are Chansey, Heatran, Bisharp, Tyranitar, non-Scarf Excadrill, Ferrothorn, Sylveon, and Clefable (if Lucario has Iron Tail in the case of the last two). This way, the opponent has to choose between losing a vital member of his offensive / defensive core, or getting swept / weakened by Lucario. Latias can also give Lucario a second chance to sweep with Healing Wish, if Lucario is too weakened to pull it off on its own, but Lucario will rarely find time to set up twice. Other than that, there is not much that Latias can do for Lucario to prepare its sweep though.

3. What are Lucario and Latias unable to defeat together? What can CAP 18 do to cover those weaknesses?

Aegislash and Zapdos are the only Pokemon that those two together can't defeat if Lucario goes for Iron Tail, and Clefable, Sylveon, and Zapdos if Lucario goes for Earthquake. However, this is assuming said Pokemon switch into either Latias or Lucario, as in 1 on 1 situations, there are much more Pokemon that can beat this core, such as Azumarill, CB Talonflame, Choice Scarf Excadrill, DD Mega Gyarados, Gengar (if it wins the Speed tie), Greninja, Latias, Latios (again, Speed tie), physically defensive Mega Scizor with Superpower, Mega Mawile, and Mega Gardevoir. Lastly, there are some Pokemon that can threaten one of those two Pokemon while the other Pokemon is unable to switch into them or check them after they set up, such as Bisharp (threatens Latias), Mega Charizard X (threatens Lucario), Mega Pinsir (threatens Lucario), and Mega Tyranitar (threatens Latias).

The best thing that the CAP can do to cover those weaknesses is to be able to defeat most of those Pokemon 1 on 1 at worst, or be able to check most of them at best. The best way to do this is obviously with the right typing and bulk. For example, some of those Pokemon can beat our two Pokemon core with just a single move (CB Talonflame with Brave Bird, Mega Mawile and Azumarill with Play Rough, Mega Gardevoir and Sylveon with Hyper Voice, and Choice Scarf Excadrill with Earthquake), so having a Pokemon able to switch into those attacks will at least make all those threats think twice before spamming them. So, resistances to Fairy and Flying moves are musts, as those attacks are so powerful that can't be handled otherwise. Also, the CAP should definitely be able to check Aegislash in one way or another, and there are only two ways we could go about doing this: good special bulk with neutrality to its most common moves, or Bulletproof and neutrality to its most common moves. Going with a Dark or Normal typing to resist Shadow Ball is not an option, as then the CAP would be unable to resist both Flying- and Fairy-type moves, something which is necessary. We could maybe go with a Normal / Fire, Normal / Poison, or Normal / Steel typing, which resists or is immune to Ghost and Fairy, but the CAP should then have physical bulk to the levels of Landorus-T and Hippowdon to be able to take CB Brave Birds from Talonflame.

4. What role should CAP 18 have in this core?

Given that our two Pokemon so far are very offensive in nature, the CAP should follow this trend. It should be able to check or at least beat 1 on 1 most of the Pokemon that trouble Latias and Lucario, while being able to threaten a big variety of Pokemon in general, so that each member of the core isn't easy to wall separately (something that Latias is already guilty of). Ideally, the CAP should be able to handle the Pokemon that threaten Latias and Lucario and take advantage of them, in order to lure or weaken some Pokemon that get in the way of Lucario and Latias, opening the way for them, and vice-versa. This means that it would be a desirable thing for the CAP and Lucario / Latias to have some similar checks and counters, as long as the CAP can damage those checks / counters enough for the other two to get past them.

A good example of an offensive partnership i would like to see from Lucario + CAP is CB Talonflame + CB Staraptor. Both Pokemon have similar checks and counters that can be worn down, such as Landorus-T, Hippowdon, and Slowbro, and both Pokemon can deal with Pokemon that trouble their partner, with Talonflame being able to deal with Skarmory, a hard counter to Staraptor, and Staraptor being able to handle Rotom-W and Heatran, two hard counters to Talonflame. Of course, we would have to take it one step further, because as you can see neither of those two Pokemon (Talonflame and Staraptor) can switch into the Pokemon that wall or check the other (Staraptor can't switch into Heatran or Rotom-W), they can just beat them 1 on 1.

A concern that has been presented here about Latias is that she is easy to trap with Pursuit users such as Tyranitar, Aegislash, and Bisharp. Lucario can already take advantage of Tyranitar and Bisharp in order to set up, so it would be nice if the CAP would be able to set up without much fear in the face of Aegislash, to make sure that no matter which Pursuit user the opponent employs, it's going to get punished for it.

5. How are we going to make sure this Pokemon benefits Lucario and Latias more than any other Pokemon, especially Pokemon that perform similar roles as Lucario and Latias?

Latias is a great Pokemon in OU and faces competition mainly with Latios. However, she has her distinct advantages, which are better bulk and Healing Wish, so as far as we take advantage of those two, our core will be fine. Yeah Latios may replace Latias in the core sometimes, but he won't in any way overshadow her, as we know from the OU metagame, where both Pokemon are very viable choices even though they compete for the same slot.

As for Lucario, it may face competition with Mega Pinsir and other physical attackers with priority, but it also has very distinct advantages and a big niche as a sweeper. Lucario is one of the few sweepers that doesn't have to worry about Talonflame, Thunder Wave Thundurus, and Choice Band Dragonite's Extremspeed, which is in itself a very important advantage over other physical sweepers, as those Pokemon are some of the best ways to keep in check the multiple sweepers found in OU. Also, the combination of defensive Pokemon it beats is unique, as unlike Mega Pinsir, it can beat Skarmory and Rotom-W, and unlike SD Bisharp, it can beat Mega Scizor, SpD Mega Charizard X, and Skarmory. Finally, if we truly design the CAP to have similar checks and counters to Lucario, while also beating some of the Pokemon that trouble Lucario, this would mean that the CAP performs better when used with Lucario and not other sweepers, which would be one more reason to use Lucario with it.

shinyskarmory said:
He is one of the few pokemon to possess powerful STAB on both sides of the spectrum (Close Combat/Iron Head for physical, Aura Sphere/Flash Cannon for special)
Lucario doesn't get Iron Head.
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Banned deucer.
I'm seeing talk about "mixed Lucario" but I think this is a bad way to approach this project.
Unlike Mega Lucario, who has speed to go mixed, normal Lucario can't afford not to run a purely physical or special set. It really needs needs both a bossting and a priority move, or else it's easily revenge killed/forced out.
Nasty Plot Lucario has issues with the blobs and Mandibuzz, while physical variants have issues with Skarmory and, depending on its coverage move of choice, with Unaware Clefable, Jellicent, Aegislash or Landorus-T/Gliscor.
What does mixed Lucario do that other mixed attackers don't do better?
I disagree that mixed Luke would be a bad idea. However, I do think it would be best if the CAP could take advantage of either physical or special Luke. This would make the Core much less predictable, like Voyomov said. I also agree that Defog Latias is not the version we should focus on, as neither really care about rocks (Edit: no, Latias does care about rocks, it spikes she ignores) and Luke really likes rocks on the opponent's side of the field. Defog may be one of the best reasons to use Latias, but not the only reason. In particular, I think Wish Latias would be best, with both Tailwind and Healing wish as usable alternitaves.

I also highly agree with Alexwolf that Cap18 should share counters with Like and also beat some of his counters, especially Aegislash. Aegislash is far and away the biggest threat to this core without the CAP. It should also fare well against bulky grounds but it doesn't need to do spectacular against them because Latias can do that if needed; mainly it shouldn't die to them like Luke.

Other considerations are how much Luke likes rocks, as he has some power problems. Rocks support is pretty important if Like is going to sweep, so if CAP18 can set rocks and share/beat Luke's counter as proposed, he would be pretty much the best partner Luke could ask for in one 'mon. Latias would provide healing and maybe Tailwind support to the duo, giving them even better sweeping potential.

Finally, CAP18 should be weak to Mamoswine and Rotom-W, because that way MPinsir won't be able to take advantage of Latias + CAP18, as Brammi said.
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Newbie here so I don't know if I should be posting but...
Does it have to be Lucario? The thread topic says "lesser-used OUs", Lucario has an extremely healthy 7% usage (which could rise if/when Swagfusion gets banned), so I think we should start thinking about how to make a core that DEALS with Lucario.

What about, instead, we created a core with two Pokes that aren't played too much yet? Like Crawdaunt/Flygon? They are a really interesting combination - Crawdaunt can destroy Bronzong for Flygon and take priority Ice moves (and pay them back in kind with Superpower), while Flygon makes short work of Electric-attack users and handle pesky Grass types with Fire Punch and U-Turn, but they are missing the link between them - something that can take care of burns and other status, effectively stop the likes Abomasnow and Poliwrath, and resist Dragon, Fighting, Bug, Grass, Flying and/or Fairy, so those Pokés are dredged them out of the bottom of OU, as opposed to making an already potent sweeper like Lucario even more dangerous.

I can think of an archetype that could do that easily, and I've even came up with a really nice concept for that type, but I'll be patient for that part of the CAP.
Ever since Mega Lucario got banned, his usage ratings have significantly dropped. The reason that they are still so high is that the battles from before Mega Lucario's ban are included. This same reason is why Genesect is still in the usage stats.

I'm seeing talk about "mixed Lucario" but I think this is a bad way to approach this project.
Unlike Mega Lucario, who has speed to go mixed, normal Lucario can't afford not to run a purely physical or special set. It really needs needs both a bossting and a priority move, or else it's easily revenge killed/forced out.
Nasty Plot Lucario has issues with the blobs and Mandibuzz, while physical variants have issues with Skarmory and, depending on its coverage move of choice, with Unaware Clefable, Jellicent, Aegislash or Landorus-T/Gliscor.
What does mixed Lucario do that other mixed attackers don't do better?
Actually mixed Lucario is one of the ONLY niches he has over other physical sweepers such as Mega Pinsir or Conkeldurr. I have been seeing some talk about Tailwind on Latias, but personally I think that Latias should not be running a full support set and rather be running a more "revenge killer" orientated set. Her 110 base SpA is nothing to sneeze at and even unboosted hits quite hard. It can finish off Pokemon that Lucario weakened. However I agree Tailwind is a great move for Lucario, and although I might be jumping the gun, I think an ability that summons Tailwind, or making a viable user of Tailwind would be nice. I do agree with above when talking about Talonflame, Mega Pinsir, Aegislash, Mamoswine and Rotom-W. The former 2 can be countered by rock types that are either immune to EQ (Mega-Pinsir) or are bulky enough to live multiple. Talonflame on the other hand just loses to rock types period. Now, Mamoswine and Rotom-W can beat rock types to an extent, as they are normally physically attacking inclined, so Rotom-W can burn and Mamoswine can either kill it with EQ and/or if it is a flying type (immunity to EQ) can hit it with an ice STAB. Aegislash is a bit hard. Some people mentioned that CAP18 should be able to hit hard enough for Aegislash to never want to switch in, and other people mentioned that CAP18 should be physically bulky to patch up for the Lucario and Latias' low-ish defenses. Sorry if I am jumping the gun a bit, I am somewhat new to CAP forums right now although I have been playing OU on Showdown since BW2's release.
The main issue mons that I see for this core right now are Aegislash, which only fears (ish) an Earthquake from a boosted Lucario, and Landorus-T. Landorus has a 66% chance of being 2HKOd by Dragon Pulse from a Latias not running Ice Beam, but Latias will only get there in time if it has max speed EVs. It even shrugs off a Stone Edge and can't be 4HKO'd when Lucario is unboosted and without LO. As mentioned somewhere on one of these threads, the duo will also have major issues with Clefable, barring a +6 Bullet Punch or something on a Clefable without unaware. I really like EternalSnowman's concept of the possible physical or special sets for CAP 18. I think it would bring out Lucario's versatility and Latias' "mixed" movepool (Psyshock).
Now I agree with everyone that Aegislash,bulky Landorus-T and unaware clefable are serious threats to this core,I think that the best way to destroy unaware clefable if latias is not running toxic, is to have something that boasts seriously high offensive stats, or for a more defensive approach, a Pokemon that runs toxic and/or leech seed(toxic is preferred) to SubSeed stall or toxic stall unaware clefable. For aegislash, a bulky pokemon that can fire off high power earthquakes or special moves that are SE, and for an offensive approach, same thing except faster and stronger. Bulky Landorus-T, I currently cant think of counters right now, so ill just leave that up to other people. Now for priority users like azumarril, talon and MegaSir, I think a Pokemon that resists their priority moves or a pokemon that has great physical bulk can effectively counter them. While i doubt that MajorThird will be able to counter all of these(including others like M-Venusaur),this could happen, who knows. But if it cant, then just leave it up to teambuilding
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So, I've seen a lot of posts above dealing with exactly what I'm about to say. However, rather than responding those posts, I feel as if it would be more productive to answer the questions provided by DLC, with my opinions on the kinds of ways that this core should be used, and what the new CAP should be made around, etc. My apologies for not so much discussing the contents of this post, versus just posting it, however I feel as if answering these questions straight-up is the most productive way to voice all of what I'd like to say on this topic.

Oh yeah, also, super-long post ahead with embedded videos and stuff, so.. look forward to that.

1. What support does Lucario require to sweep or significantly weaken an opponent's team?

Resistances. Or Immunities. And Defensively-Bulky Pokemon to switch into. Three things that Latias is pretty great at providing. However, even with this pair's hefty amount of type coverage, there are some bases that even a combination of Lucario and Latias can't cover, not to mention that even with resistances, Latias has some pretty set-in-stone counters, and Life-Orb'd Lucario's frail-ness makes it hard for him to switch in on even semi-powerful resisted attacks. In short, Lucario depends upon partners that can take hits for it, and hit back with at least reasonable amounts of power.

2. What can Latias do to allow Lucario to sweep an opponent's team?

Everything described above. Most namely, (assuming you're looking for specifics) having resistances/immunities to all of Lucario's weaknesses, as well as having more variety than Lucario's movepool, with which it can use to help to cover more Offensive bases than Lucario could alone.

3. What are Lucario and Latias unable to defeat together? What can CAP 18 do to cover those weaknesses?

Fairies. Fairies, fairies, fairies. Sure, Lucario can sweep some fairies (as Alexwolf points out) by using either brute force, or a STAB Bullet Punch/Iron Tail or two, however with Iron Tail's inaccuracy, and Lucario's frail-ness + newfound lack-of-speed, there needs to be some room for error, priority regardless. Of course, with Aegislash and Talonflame being literally, some of the top OU threats in competitive right now, CAP 18 is also going to be needed to cover the OU niche'mons that break the current core we have as is. How can the new CAP cover these bases, you might ask?

Fire. Both resisting Fairy as a typing, and dealing serious damage to counters like Pinsir-M and Aegislash, one possible way for the new CAP to flourish in both the Defensive and Offensive departments, is through fire. In addition, some way to deal with the powerful Ghost and Dark type attacks that Latias can't take, and Lucario can't take well, seems to be a necessity. (Also, I realize there are still Fairy typed threats, namely Azumarill, that can deal with fire and fire types, however this is just one suggestion for a possible resistance factor. Again, sug-gest-ion. I realize there is a concrete step for this, seriously. Just.. throwin' it out there...)(P.P.S. Since some people are throwing out typings at this stage, for whatever reason, one way to achieve the resistances described above is to have a Fire/Normal type with some versatility in it's moveset. Again, a mere suggestion.)

4. What role should CAP 18 have in this core?

I believe that this CAP should not pave the way for Lucario, but rather do everything else to it's best ability to secure it's success. Basically, this CAP should be focused on assisting Lucario AND Latias by taking the kinds of hits that they cannot, and throwing the kinds of punches that they cannot. My reasoning for this, is as follows;

1.) Both Latias and Lucario, as a pair, have counters that are more than prevalent in OU, from 'mons that stop this duo dead in their tracks, (Gliscor, Mandibuzz) to dangerous opponents that can wreck this core as is, if even a single slip-up occurs (Conkeldurr, Pinsir-M, T-Flame). Something that can be used to fall back on, when a dangerous sweeper enters the arena, or having something with the right moveset to counter a Conkeldurr, for example, without risking potentially 1/3 of this core, could be invaluable.

And, 2.) This core would legitimately benefit much more from a Pokemon that can participate in battle, than one who decorates the field. Sure, something to get off SR is almost always a valuable asset to have in competative, but honestly, with Lucario's priority and Latias defogging all over the place, setting up hazards in the first place isn't really needed in comparison to a third teammate, let alone easy to set up in battle. Mind you, something that could set up Sticky Web could be useful in assisting Lucario's not-so-great speed, however something built around this kind of assistance fits neither the concept this CAP is supposed to be being designed around, "Major Third", nor the core this 'mon is supposed to fit into. Sure it's benefits Lucario in some ways, however as the next questions asks, this Pokemon would be constantly used outside of it's recommended context, likely without it's core partners. Having CAP 18 play a defensively supportive role in regards to it's partners, while still being able to hold it's own ground, seems to me as the kind of role it would fit best.

5. How are we going to make sure this Pokemon benefits Lucario and Latias more than any other Pokemon, especially Pokemon that perform similar roles as Lucario and Latias?

Simple. We design it to work specifically with both Lucario and Latias. As Dragonblaze mentioned above, what Pokemon have the dual typing of Dragon/Psychic, as well as legitimate Defensive capabilities? Latias. And only Latias. Or rather, what Pokemon have the typing Fighting/Steel, with multiple base attacking stats of over 100? Lucario. And ONLY Lucario. And of course, what other possible cores or parts of cores, have the same synergy, movepool, resistances, and Offensive and Defensive capabilities of a Lucario-Latias core? The truth is, there are none. Because even though Lucario may be compared or overshadowed by Pinsir(-M) or Conkeldurr, (and likewise with Latias to Latios) a CAP built around the unique typings and strengths of our selected duo, can and will only work as planned WITH our selected duo. For example, let's say that someone tries to use this core by substituting Latias for a Latios. This person is in a fairly close match so far until... Banded Talonflame, a common and relentless threat among OU, is brought onto the field. Of course, sending out Lucario is suicide, and CAP 18 died earlier in the match... leaving only Latios. The very same Latios who happens to get OHKO'd by the same Brave Bird that a full health Latias could have lived. Or let's say that someone were to favor Mega Pinsir over Lucario, and Aegislash is thrown out against it. Pinsir, in this scenario has already Mega'd, and stealth rocks are on the field, leaving the person's Pinsir weak and vulnerable. With no way to counter Aegis without Lucario, or even to Defog without getting wrecked by a Shadow Ball, the end result to this situation isn't pretty. And these are the reasons why this CAP would best benefit ONLY the core that is currently slated. Due to the unique synergy that a core of Lucario-Latias has going for it, no other core involving the CAP that is about to be created, will act the same. Sure, you might be able to use this core with a Latias, or a Pinsir, or a Conkeldurr. But you won't be able to use it well, at least not as well as the way that it was designed to work, because that is how these Pokemon, and these Pokemon only, synergize.
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vyomov said:
In my opinion, what separates Lucario from Pinsir and Conkeldurr is it's ability to go both Physical and Special with above average attacking stats in both cases, making it quite versatile and adept at surprising the opponent. However, the downside to this is that it's quite easy from looking at a team to figure out which Lucario is being run(in most cases, it's Physical) and accordingly prepare.
The best way to get around this in my mind is to create a CAP that ,like Lucario, can go both Physical and Special, thus keeping the opponent clueless as to which one is Physical and which one is Special - a surprise factor that gives this core a niche.
The advantages of such a CAP are mainly that said CAP would be far more effective with Lucario than say, M-Pinsir or Conkeldurr because there's no surprise factor - it's common knowledge both are physical sweepers.
I have to admit, I like this idea very much. Lucario is one of the few fighting Pokemon that has the possibility or going physical or special (or even mixed). It's probably true the most people look at Lucario and generally think it will be physical, but this is not always the case and if we assume Lucario to be a pure physical attacker for the purposes of this core then he'll have too many opportunities for him to be outclassed. Back in fifth gen, Lucario and Cobalion were both Pokemon that I used a fair bit, and while both could be used as Swords Dance sweepers, I generally felt Cobalion did a better job with this because of his greater bulk/surviability coupled with his greater speed. Essentially, these qualities that Cobalion had forced me to re-evaluate Lucario, and as a result I switched to using Luke mostly for agility special sets. I'm not trying to say that Cobalion is particularly useful in 6th gen OU, but from my past experience I can draw some parallels as to the current conversation on how to utilize Lucario without him being outclassed.

Going back to vyomov's point, perhaps Lucario's most untapped ability is simply his surprise factor. Lucario has a lot of options before him, and unfortunately team preview makes guessing these options relatively easier than in fourth gen. Therefore, I think having CAP18 be something that can go special or physical as well would be something that could really complement Lucario. However, the potential problems with this could be that once either CAP18's or Lucario's special/physical preference is revealed, then the opponent will be able to know of the other's attacking preference as well. Though this may be the case, compared to most Pokemon where the physical/special preference is already a known variable, I think even the brief moment in which Lucario or a potential CAP18 have yet to reveal their sets is still a moment that can be capitalized upon. Making the opponent deal with unknown variables might not be an inherent part of this concept; however, I believe that is it still be a very real competitive aspect of battles and thus it's something that should at least be talked about more.

Rotosect said:
I'm seeing talk about "mixed Lucario" but I think this is a bad way to approach this project.
Unlike Mega Lucario, who has speed to go mixed, normal Lucario can't afford not to run a purely physical or special set. It really needs needs both a bossting and a priority move, or else it's easily revenge killed/forced out.
Nasty Plot Lucario has issues with the blobs and Mandibuzz, while physical variants have issues with Skarmory and, depending on its coverage move of choice, with Unaware Clefable, Jellicent, Aegislash or Landorus-T/Gliscor.
What does mixed Lucario do that other mixed attackers don't do better?
Mixed Lucario isn't necessarily useless, though I do think Rotosect might be right to question the viability of mixed Lucario compared to special or physical Lucario. Fitting a solid set that covers the needed threats is probably going to be very difficult using a mixed Lucario. However, tapping this in with vyomov's suggestion, I think allowing CAP18 to have the option to go physical or special itself could mitigate the need to make Lucario mixed. The whole point of the concept is to make a core that helps each other out, and by forcing Lucario to go mixed to differentiate himself from the other OU fighting types, I think we'd would be doing the contrary and would be limiting Lucario. As a result, I don't think promoting mixed Lucario is a solid investment. Promoting the options for Lucario to use his various tools in a variety of sets would actually be accomplishing the task of taking a less-used viable Pokemon and making him function better in the meta game. As a result, having a core member that can increase Lucario's surprise factor would be a nice advantage to give Lucario in terms of helping out the core.

Now, to very briefly address Latias, I think the female psychic/dragon Pokemon doesn't have as much to worry about from the core in terms of enabling her to show off her unique, viable qualities. Her typing and bulk differentiates herself from others competing for her role as it is. However, in terms of synergizing as a core, I would like to point out that while Lucario can deal with the dark types that she can't deal with, the move pursuit is a thorn in her side and could be something that needs to be addressed. Sure, Lucario can blast though Tyranitars that may try to use pursuit on Latias, but it doesn't really mean much if Latias dies in the process. The tricky part is that there's no real way to discourage pursuit users from taking advantage of their move. Rather, just as something to keep in mind, I think the viability of CAP18 and Lucario needs to be addressed under the very real possibility that Latias can no longer perform her core functions due to pursuit trapping. I'm not at all trying to say that Latias shouldn't be considered part of the core (she is part of it and should still be thought of as an important member) but the remaining core members shouldn't be overly reliant on her support due to her susceptibility to pursuit.
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Just popping in to say that Tailwind is something that Latias is amazing at taking advantage of.
In addition, Lucario can run agility. It's not as great as it used to be, but it is definitely an option.

Latias also gets screens which is also awesome. In addition, it can use Light Screen to take almost every non boosted special without having to be dedicated screens. We've seen it work in older generations of Ubers, which is entirely comparable to some of the stuff in OU atm.

Just as addendums to my previous post.
When playing lucario or Mlucario I always started with a swords dance set that looked like this:

Lucario @ Life Orb
252/252/4hp jolly
Swords Dance
Close Combat

I would complement lucario with something that baits users of pursuit or dark attacks in general - scarf ttar is the quintessential example of the dark type I'm referring to. The goal here is to play recklessly with something that the opponent wants to pursuit and be rid of, which allows lucario a free turn to set up after the pursuitbait dies. Traditionally, the role of pursuitbait would be filled by a lati twin, usually specs Latios or a more supportish Latias:

Latias @ lefties
252hp/252spe/4spatk timid
calm mind
dragon pulse


draco meteor


I believe that the best way to support this core would be to create a CAP that is highly offensively threatening in the OU meta, likely a wallbreaker. I'm thinking something that would provide great benefit and momentum every time a player was able to switch this CAP in, attack, and switch back out to our latias/meatshield unthreatened. The key point here is that this CAP, while powerful, should be weak to pursuit and/or generally ineffective against common pursuit users, whether they be choiced or just set up bait for lucario. For this to work CAP would have to be powerful enough to slightly centralize the metagame around pursuit users, like when scarf ttar was discovered a generation or two ago. CAP at the same time should be effective at wallbreaking the 'mons that give lucario trouble as mentioned previously.
I think it would be a terrible idea to have both Latias and our third to be Pursuit weak. Ideally, it will fill in Latias's defensive holes while threatening the things Lucario cannot. If we have a dual weakness to Pursuit without a mitigation to this and merely use them as fodder so Lucario can maybe take out something like Tyranitar, then we wouldn't really be forming a core. The basis of a core, as I see it, is that the Pokemon augment and support each other in unison. If the goal of two of these Pokemon is to get hit by a STAB super effective Pursuit from a Tyranitar and almost certainly die, then I feel like we haven't really built a core at all.
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