Hey everyone! As you've probably already heard. the BDSP OU tiering council has decided to suspect test Latios.
Latios has been at the forefront of the metagame since day one. Its power, between its great Special Attack stat and STAB boosted Draco Meteor, is almost unmatched, and its coverage options such as Surf and Thunderbolt provide it with the capability to break through almost anything. It's no slouch defensively either- its physical bulk is decent at worst, and its special bulk is genuinely good when paired with its plentiful resistances and immunity to Earthquake, Spikes, and Toxic Spikes. This means Latios easily manages to get on the field multiple times, especially when paired with BDSP's plentiful U-turn users, and cause major damage throughout most battles.
Latios's most iconic set is Choice Specs, which is capable of OHKOing most offensive Pokemon and breaking down bulky Pokemon with smart play. While it no longer has access to Trick like it did in DPP and BW, this only really impacts its Blissey matchup, as even Specially Defensive Scizor has to be kept in near-perfect condition to not risk being 2HKOed by Specs Latios's Surf or Thunderbolt after Stealth Rock. The removal of Pursuit means that predicting incorrectly has far lower risk when compared to DPP and BW, allowing Latios to come in and force the opponent into awkward guessing games several times throughout a battle. Pokemon with Protect can help alleviate the need for prediction when facing down Latios, but fitting Protect on many of the Pokemon Latios threatens can be quite difficult. This ability to wear its checks down is sometimes improved further with Spikes, which synergize well with Latios due to its switchins typically being grounded Pokemon like Unaware Clefable, Scizor, Heatran, and Jirachi. This set is also extremely potent versus offense, as 110 is quite an elite Speed tier in BDSP and allows Latios to revenge kill or clean up the likes of Garchomp, Manaphy, and Infernape, and Latios' natural bulk can allow it to take a hit in a pinch. Latios is especially effective versus Sticky Web teams, where it ignores the webs entirely and usually outspeeds the vast majority, if not all, of the opposing team.
Choice Specs isn't the only way to use Latios, however - it has several other effective sets. Choice Scarf isn't quite as popular anymore now that Blaziken is banned, but it can still be useful for handling other Choice Scarf users, Alakazam, various Dragon Dance users, and countless other speedy threats. Soul Dew is overlooked but can be extremely potent, as it allows Latios to make full use of its access to reliable recovery to fire off attacks throughout the game and even defensively check Pokemon like Infernape. It also lets Latios bluff Choice items in some scenarios, setting up for effective lures and rendering Protect-based counterplay useless, and allows it to more effectively run powerful moves like Calm Mind and Defog. Life Orb comes at a cost to Latios' longevity, but the set allows unrivalled offensive flexibility. There are probably countless other effective sets that Latios can run, from Earthquake to lure Heatrans, to Calm Mind with Leftovers or a type resistance Berry in order to bypass certain checks.
Latios is especially notorious on Dragon spam teams, which utilize 2-4 Dragon-type Pokemon in order to break down their shared checks. These teams are quite popular at the moment, and often make use of Magnezone to further limit the opponent's options- even when Magnezone can't trap anything, its ability to turn Clefable into offensive momentum is integral to these teams. They often also make use of Doom Desire + U-turn Jirachi, which can create some very difficult scenarios for the opponent; its ability to deter Fairy-type switchins against Latios is as useful as it is obvious, and it can make life hard for even full health Scizor that happen to switch in on Surf or Thunderbolt.
As previously mentioned, Latios does have defensive checks other than Blissey, but they often have to be paired together in order to cover all of Latios's attacking options, as most can be 2HKOed by at least one move from Specs Latios. Some examples include Scizor, Jirachi, Clefable, Heatran, Empoleon, Forretress, Slowking, bulky Magnezone variants, and various Dark-type Pokemon that can blank a predicted Psychic. As you may notice, there's a lot of overlapping weaknesses in this pool of checks, with many of them being vulnerable to, or trapped by, Magnezone, and several being quite weak to common Latios partners like Rotom-Wash and Gliscor. The majority of these checks also lack in longevity, meaning Latios will often outlast them if it is backed up by solid responses to these checks.
While Latios is obviously extremely powerful, we don't believe it's overtly broken enough to warrant a quickban, as every playstyle can find some reasonable recourse against it. Offensive teams can pack supereffective priority and/or faster Pokemon such as Raikou, Starmie, Weavile, Alakazam, and Choice Scarf users in order to keep the pressure on Latios, or exploit a poorly timed Draco Meteor drop to enable a dangerous setup sweeper; stall teams are quite happy to pack both Blissey and Unaware Clefable, which generally blanks any Latios without heavy support from its teammates; and balanced teams can pack multiple checks to make the guessing game fairly difficult for the Latios use.
To summarize, Latios is an absolute powerhouse in the current metagame. With a near-unmatched damage output, good neutral coverage, an above-average Speed tier, and great longevity, it is a threat to offensive and balanced teamstyles alike. While balanced teams can afford to run multiple checks to Latios, these still don't ensure safety versus it, especially when it is backed up by its most popular teammates. With all this in mind, the BDSP OU Council has deemed Latios worthy of a suspect test.
- ***THIS IS NEW TO GEN 8 SUSPECTS*** Reading this is mandatory for participating in the suspect test. The voting requirements are a minimum GXE of 78 with at least 50 games played. In addition, you may play 1 less game for every 0.2 GXE you have above 80 GXE, down to a minimum of 30 games at a GXE of 82. Also, needing more than 50 games to reach 80 GXE will suffice.
- You must signup with a newly registered account on Pokemon Showdown! that begins with the appropriate prefix for the suspect test. For this suspect test, the prefix will be BD1L. For example, I might sign up with the ladder account BD1L Eve.
- Laddering with an account that impersonates, mocks, or insults another Smogon user or breaks Pokemon Showdown! rules may be disqualified from voting and infracted. Moderator discretion will be applied here. If there is any doubt or hesitance when making the alt, just pick another name. There are infinite possibilities and we have had trouble for this repeatedly. If you wish to participate in the suspect, you should be able to exhibit decent enough judgement here. We will not be lenient.
- We will be using the regular BDSP OU ladder for this suspect test. We will not be creating a new Suspect Ladder. At the beginning of every battle, there will be an announcement denoting the ongoing suspect with a link to this thread.
- The aspect being tested, Latios, will be allowed on the ladder.
- Any form of voting manipulation will result in swift and severe punishment. You are more than welcome to state your argument to as many people as you so please, but do not use any kind of underhanded tactics to get a result you desire. Bribery, blackmail, or any other type of tactic used to sway votes will be handled and sanctioned.
- Do not attempt to cheat the ladder. We will know if you did not actually achieve voting requisites, so don't do it. Harsh sanctions will be applied.
- Unlike previous tests, we will be posting the voting identification thread immediately after this thread. Your voting requisites will be confirmed by a Council member or BDSP Metagames moderator, to which we will edit in confirmation. Please avoid getting more games before getting confirmed.
- The suspect test will go on for two weeks, lasting until December 12th at 11:59 pm (GMT+0), and then we will put up the voting thread in the Blind Voting subforum.
- No unhelpful one liners nor uninformed posts;
- No discussion on other potential suspects;
- No discussion on the suspect process -- this includes retesting Latios vs other potential suspects;
- You are required to make respectful posts;
- You are required to read this thread before posting.
- Failure to follow these simple guidelines will result in your post being deleted and infracted without any prior warning.
- Please also take a moment to read over some suggestions from the OU Council and the OU Moderation team for posting in this thread; adhering these will help out our time moderating the thread and present your arguments better and more educated.
- Do not argue because it's your favorite Pokemon. This should be common sense, but please don't do this, because we will delete posts like this.
- You do not need a boatload of experience to have an informed opinion, but please try to minimize the theorymon aspect and use your experiences watching and playing. Playing some on the ladder before posting is plenty if you're concerned about this.
- Do not flame, belittle, or be disrespectful to users in this thread. While not everyone will read this post in its entirety nor will everyone have informed opinion, please be sure not to be disrespectful. If there's an issue, bring it up to a moderater.
- Do not use the argument of broken checking broken. Should your argument rest on your opinion that banning the Pokemon or mechanic being tested in this suspect test will make a Pokemon or mechanic broken, overpowered, and/or uncompetitive; don't. If something needs to be banned because of the result this suspect, then so be it.
- This thread is not to voice complaints about the suspect process or decisions of the council. While we are more than open to hearing complaints that may arise, this isn't the place for it. I suggest you message a BDSP OU Council Member or BDSP Metagames forum moderator, or make a post in Senior Staff requests, should you have a badge.
Keep in mind that our suspect tests are decided by the community; anyone who achieves voting requisites is allowed to vote. The outcome is up to you. Happy posting and laddering!