Project USM OU Biweekly Research (Mega Latios & Tapu Koko)

lyd

Happily Stoked
is a Smogon Media Contributor
#1
USM OU Biweekly Research

Discord
approved by Leo
taken over from Indigo Plateau
co-hosted with Team Pokepals & Gurpreet Patel (Sent you a Friend Request)
Hi everyone and welcome to Biweekly Research, In this thread, the focus will be on playing with a variety of different Pokemon by using competitively testing them out throughout a period of two weeks and writing well-crafted discussion posts on the Pokémon's current viability and niche! Posting laddering peaks with the Pokémon is by no means needed (especially since the ladder isn't the coolest place to be at sometimes) but some type of competitive success through the period is encouraged, be it a replay or two against a good player, a great position at an official, unofficial, or room tour, or anything similar.

Here's an in-depth procedure:
  • Each round, lasting a period of two weeks each (thus biweekly), a Pokémon will be chosen to be analyzed, a new round will start every week.
  • While the previous installment of this series used the time period of a week, I believe the larger timeframe gives more motivation to users and shall hopefully increase the research aspect of the project.

  • If you wanna partake in the round, make a long thought-out post with one of the two Pokémon currently up for discussion, thus the user with the best post will enter the hall of fame.
  • When posting you can include the following: sets used, teambuilding procedure, strengths and flaws of the Pokémon, how the Pokémon is adapted to the current metagame, and cores the Pokémon fits in. But if you wish to add any section not aforementioned feel absolutely free to!
  • Here's an example from the past project.

Now that you know how the Project works, feel free to post away, here are the current research topics:

Round 40 - Mega Latios

the deadline is Sunday, July 22nd.

Round 41 -Tapu Koko

the deadline is Sunday, July 29th.
 
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#5
Preview:
I was originally going to post in this thread during April 29, but then my computer broke down and I had to go fix it. I was very sad. But anyways, I find it a bit disappointing that no one has made a post in this thread, since the very idea of this thread is cool, though I understand that exams are stressful. Either way, this might not be the greatest ever research on Mega Alakazam, but I had a lot of fun playing with its unique strengths and building arounds its weakness, and I hope who ever reads this will too.

1525129107858.png

Overview
In many aspects, the shift from ORAS to Ultra Sun and Moon has brought a monumental shift in the way that Mega Evolutions are evaluated in the metagame. With a good deal of Power Creep, and Z-Moves allowing for Non-mega breakers to smash past their counters circumventing their lower base Special Attack Stats, Mega Alakzam's immense 175 Special Attack no longer seemed so monumental. Most pressingly for the fate of Mega Alakazam, the trip to Generation 7 also brought out a different Psychic Type: Tapu Lele. Tapu Lele who had a base 130 Special Attack Stat alongside the ability to hold a item, allowing for it to out damage Mega Alakzam. Another form of bad news, Magearna, also loomed ominously other Mega Alakazams shoulder, as it could tank any attack that Mega Alakazam could throw at it, and precede to dent it back.

But thankfully for Mega Alakazam, the shiny new toy that was Tapu Lele also brought out a gift for it to abuse: Psychic Terrain. As we all know, Psychic Terrain boost Psychic Types moves by 50%, allowing for Mega Alakazam to form an effective core with Tapu Lele, allowing for them to whittle down and smash through their checks, while also providing immunity to Priority attacks which were a nuisance to Mega Alakazam. Thanks to the majority of checks for Mega Alakazam and Tapu Lele having little in the form of recovery, the two Psychic Types can go to town, taking out many of their checks such as Magearna and Celesteela. This is where the other very impressive stat of Mega Alakazam's came into play. With its fantastic speed tier, Mega Alakazam can outspeed the entirety of the unboosted metagame, and is a very effective cleaner with the support of Tapu Lele.

However, unfortunately for Mega Alakazam, faster Choice Scarf users such as Landorus and Kartana, can easily revenge kill it, and its very lack-luster defenses mean that if it cannot knock out the opponent, it can easily get knocked out itself. In addition, much better checks to Mega Alakazam have risen such as specially defensive Jirachi and Assault Vest Tapu Bulu, who take a pittance from most of its moves and can precede to stop it in its tracks. However, despite these immediate flaws, Mega Alakazam still forms and is the face of one of the most deadly offensive archetypes: Psyspam

Psyspam Spammer
1525131043042.png

Alakazam @ Alakazite
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Psychic
- Focus Blast
- Shadow Ball
- Hidden Power Fire

This is the main variant of Mega Alakazam sets, that utilizes Mega Alakazam's blazing speed stat and high Special Attack Stat. With Magic Guard pre-mega, Alakazam can switch into hazards with ease helping to somewhat mitigate Alakazam's low defenses. Psychic is the main and powerful STAB, while the rest of Mega Alakazam's coverage helps it deal with fighting and steel types. It would be a disservice to Mega Alakzam, to not mention its vast movepool, which allows it to bring out certain techs such as Knock Off, Energy Ball, and Calm Mind, both of which can help it resolve its problems such as inability to fight Chansey, give it an option to beat Rain teams, or giving it the ability to hit even harder.

Example Teams
Alakazam @ Alakazite
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Psychic
- Focus Blast
- Shadow Ball
- Energy Ball

Tapu Lele @ Fightinium Z
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Psyshock
- Moonblast
- Focus Blast
- Hidden Power [Fire]

Heatran @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Magma Storm
- Earth Power
- Taunt
- Toxic

Clefable @ Leftovers
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
- Moonblast
- Soft-Boiled
- Stealth Rock
- Knock Off

Greninja @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Protean
EVs: 176 Atk / 80 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Rock Slide
- U-turn
- Ice Beam
- Spikes

Zapdos @ Leftovers
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 248 HP / 240 Def / 20 Spe
Bold Nature
- Discharge
- Roost
- Heat Wave
- Defog



Teambuilding Frameworks
Defensive Stealth Rock setter


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As with any good breaker, Mega Alakazam appreciates the extra chip that Stealth Rocks can provide to it, allowing for it to more easily break through defensive pokemons. The inclusion of a defensive Stealth Rock Setter also helps deal with Mega Alakazam's defenses by giving out a good switch-in. Special Mention should go out to Clefable and Heatran, who pressure Steel Types with Knock Off or Flamethrower and Magma Storm respectively. Landorus also gets a mention for being a slow pivot, helpful for getting Alakazam in.

Speed Control
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While Mega Alakazam is the fastest pokemon of the unboosted metagame, a Choice Scarf pokemon is essential to take out the few pokemons who can boost their speed to outspeed Alakazam like Volcarona. Hawlucha can also utilize the Psychic Seed to great effect, helping out the Psychic Spam core to break through enemy teams

Another Wallbreaker that can pressure Steel Types and other extremely bulky pokemon
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While Mega Alakazam and Tapu Lele can whittle down Steel types like Magearna, any other pressure on these steel types is an ideal way for Alakazam and Tapu Lele to run train through the other team. The core has problems with Jirachi in particular, but both Heatran, Zygarde and Magnezone are capable of putting them through immense pressure. In addition, Heatran and Zygarde are capable of putting pressure on Jirachi as well. Heatran can also set-up rocks for Mega Alakazam.

Pokemon capable of taking on Bulky Psychic Types
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Mega Alakazam struggles heavily with breaking through most Bulky Psychic Type pokemon like Mega Latias and Reuniclus, so Dark Types like the above trio are good ways to pressure the two for Alakazam, while also being able to soften up walls for a Alakazam clean.

Pokemon capable of providing a defensive backbone

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Mega Alakazam appreciates a good defensive back bone capable of taking hits for Alakazam when it fails to either knock out an enemy or outspeed it. Toxapex and Ferrothorn can also provide hazards such as Spikes and Toxic Spikes, while defoggers like Zapdos give hazard removal to help augment Alakazam's attempt to break through opponents.

Tapu Lele
1525136921419.png


While it certainly is not required, and there are ways to utilize Mega Alakazam outside of a partnership with Tapu Lele, Tapu Lele provides two great caveats to Alakazam, being Psychic Terrain and the ability to wear down its checks allowing for a clean. Boosted Psychic Terrain hits are usually enough for Mega Alakazam to plow through enemy teams, and Tapu Lele also can soften up the opposing team with a well-timed Z-nuke. The two form the dreaded Psyspam core, and would be amiss for me to not mention how absolutely amazing and incredible Mega Alakazam and Tapu Lele are together.

Conclusion
Mega Alakazam is one of the best pokemons and best Megas of this generation, and is a treat to use. So go out, and use it in the team that I used or build one of your own. Afterall, there is a reason for why Psyspam is one of the best team archetypes this generation.
 

lyd

Happily Stoked
is a Smogon Media Contributor
#7
Would love to see some more activity in this thread, but, back on topic, Victini's deadline is not due until next Sunday, but in the meantime, here's our next research topic:
Round 32 - Reuniclus

the deadline is Sunday, May 20th.
Edit: Forgot to mention before, but Team Pokepals & Gurpreet Patel (Sent you a Friend Request) and now helping me host this, welcome guys :)
 
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Jordy

you should like this post
is a Contributor to Smogon
#10

Synopsis

Gastrodon-East was a Pokemon in ORAS with a unique niche, it could wall, and set up on Pokemon like Mega Manectric, Thundurus-I, Mega Metagross, and Choice-locked Keldeo, this was all thanks to Curse. This all changed in USM as most of the Pokemon it was used to check became rather irrelevant, or got banned, in Mega Metagross' case. Gastrodon has only recently started picking up in usage for its ability to check Pokemon like Heatran, (Ash) Greninja, Magearna, Tapu Koko, Mega Lati@s, and Volcarona, causing Toxapex to fall off a bit because, Gastrodon-East has been taking over. In general there's very little Pokemon that can OHKO Gastrodon-East thanks to its great defensive typing along with its astounding bulk, only bending over to Grass-types like Tapu Bulu, Kartana, Ferrothorn, Amoonguss, Tangrowth, and Mega Venusaur; as well as strong wallbreakers such as Mega Mawile, Mega Medicham, and Choice Specs Tapu Lele.

Specially Defensive

Gastrodon-East @ Leftovers
Ability: Storm Drain
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
- Scald
- Recover
- Toxic
- Earthquake

This is Gastrodon-East's main set it maximizes in HP and Special Defense to effectively wall Special Attackers like Heatran, (Ash) Greninja, Magearna, Tapu Koko, Mega Lati@s, and Volcarona, which are all very threatening, top tier Pokemon. Storm Drain lets Gastrodon absorb Water-type attacks from Pokemon like (Ash) Greninja, Keldeo, and Rotom-W.

Samples


by Jordy

by TDK

by mellowyellowhd

Teambuilding Framework

Flying-types


Flying-types and Gastrodon-East hold outstanding synergy together because, Flying-types resist Grass-type moves, Gastrodon-East's only (4x) weakness, they also provide a Ground immunity. In return Gastrodon-East can block Electric-type moves and take on Rock-types. In Celesteela and Skarmory's case it's also useful because it can take on Fire-types.

Defoggers


Gastrodon-East is very susceptible to (Toxic) Spikes, Defoggers can effectively remove these entry hazards from the field, which benefits Gastrodon-East a lot.

Conclusion

Gastrodon-East is a solid Pokemon that has seen and will keep seeing a lot of usage as the generation develops further. Its ability to wall a wide variety of top-tier Pokemon is of super high value to almost any balance team.​
 
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#11

Overview

Reuniclus is a pokemon that has been gaining up usage lately and established itself as a top win condition for Balance and Bulky Offense builds thanks to its ability to boost-up with Calm Mind and use common pokemons such as Clefable, Gastrodon, AV Magearna, Toxapex and Mew as set-up fodders. It has got an average bulk with a 110 HP Stat and a 75 Defense Stat but that still allows it to 1v1 pokemons such as Mega-Medicham, Mega-Lopunny, and some variants of Landorus-Therian and Zygarde. It has also got a 125 Special Attack Stat which provides it a really good breaking power, especially after Calm Mind boosts. Reuniclus can run many items such as Leftovers, Z-Crystal like Psychium-Z or Steelium-Z, Terrain Seeds, and can even perform pretty well as a Trick Room abuser. Its movepool is also pretty wide, having access to coverage moves like Focus Blast, Shadow Ball, Flash Cannon and Signal Beam which can all be used effectively depending on the team's needs.

Sets


Reuniclus @ Leftovers
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 220 HP / 236 Def / 8 SpD / 44 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psyshock
- Focus Blast / Shadow Ball / Signal Beam
- Recover
- Calm Mind​

This is Reuniclus' best and most common set. The concept is pretty simple: it uses Calm Mind to boost its Special Attack and Special Defense stats which allows it to break through many defensive cores after some boosts. Psyshock is its STAB move which also allows it to break through special walls more easily and beat other Calm Mind users. The coverage moves really depends of what you need: use Focus Blast if you wanna hit Heatran and Steel Types harder, Shadow Ball if you wanna hit other Psychic-Types while also hitting Steel- and Ghost-Types, or Signal Beam if you wanna hit Psychic- and Dark-Types. Other options include Flash Cannon which hits Fairy-Types more effectively and Iron Defense which boosts its physical bulk, making it almost unkillable although it means sacrificing one of your coverage moves. The spread here is a bit different from the usual one but I believe it's a bit more effective. It gives you exactly 26-HP recovery from Leftovers, and slightly improves rolls against physical and special attackers.


Reuniclus @ Psychium Z / Steelium Z
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 252 HP / 212 Def / 44 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psyshock
- Shadow Ball / Flash Cannon
- Recover
- Calm Mind

This set is only a deviation from the first one, the only difference being that it uses a Z-Crystal over Leftovers. Although it makes it lose a bit of its longevity, it's useful because it allows it hit really hard things that it wouldn't be hitting that hard normally. This set is especially useful on Hazard-Stack teams as it allows to pressure every defoggers including Zapdos and Tornadus-Therian for example.


Reuniclus @ Life Orb
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 200 HP / 56 Def / 252 SpA
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Trick Room
- Psychic
- Signal Beam
- Hidden Power [Fire]

This one is mainly a fun set and it really isn't the reason why Reuniclus is so common rn but it's still usable so I'm dropping it. Basically, it uses Trick Room for Speed Control, Life Orb to boost its attacks and it doesn't take residual damages thanks to Magic Guard. As for attacking moves, it's got Psychic as its STAB, Signal Beam to hit Psychic- and Dark-Types and HP Fire to hit Steel-Types.

Sample Teams



-by me

-by Cdumas



Shoutouts to vso for replays.​
 
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#15
Conkeldurr

Overview
Conkeldurr is one of those mons that you may be tempted to look at and think, "why isn't this used more?"- that is, until you actually use it. Despite boasting 140 attack, boosted by guts, sheer force or iron fist, and 105 HP, conkeldurr struggles in todays OU metagame thanks to its abysmal speed stat of 45, meaning that it needs actual investment to outspeed threats such as vest magearna. This drastically eats into its potential bulk. Additionally, conk faces stiff competition from Mega Medicham as a fighting type breaker, which pretty much does everything conk wants to but better. Medi hits approximately as hard if adamant, can still break things like clef while tearing holes in fatter teams, still has some form of priority and, most importantly, can actually outspeed things it wants to kill so it isn't forced out by magearna for example. However, after a solid hour of brainstorming, I did manage to come up with a solid 5 things that conk has going for it over medi:
1) You can use another mega in tandem with conk
2) Conk has a lot more bulk, as well as some form of recovery in drain punch, and a status immunity
3) You can spam fighting STAB without fear of protect
4) Mach Punch i.e. STAB priority
5) different movepool, including boosted facade and knock
Now you might be sitting there thinking, "but Qplaz, those seem like really small advantages and in no way should be able to justify using this over medicham!" and that's where you'd be correct. From my experience, conk was really underwhelming (to put it nicely) at the best of times, and I often found myself mindlessly saccing it to bring something like zygarde in. The only real time I found conk to be remotely usable was when it was on a screens HO team, where it's better bulk allowed it to shine and shrug off a surprising amount of hits.
Sets
Because conk is kind of bad there isn't much it can use, here's the best set I found:
@

Conkeldurr @ Flame Orb
Ability: Guts
EVs: 128 HP / 252 Atk / 128 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Drain Punch
- Facade
- Mach Punch
- Ice Punch / Knock Off / Bulk Up

While sets like Assault Vest have been used in the past, the reduction in bulky waters spamming scald has meant that conk more or less needs flame orb to activate guts. Speed is to get the jump on clefable so you can delete it with facade. Filler depends on team, bulk up makes conk super hard to switch in against but you miss the coverage; ice punch cops lando; and knock hits ghosts quite hard.

Sets like Sheer Force might work too, but at that point you start running into the issue again that you should probably just be using Medicham
Teams

Didn't really get many done bc conk's a pain to build around and use


As mentioned before, one thing conk does have going for it is that it can be really fat. Under screens, it can eat a surprising amount of hits which is really nice. The rest of the team follows a pretty basic screens HO structure. Conk didn't really do much a lot of the time (most of the wins came from WP Zyg being dumb) but this was probably the most consistent of the teams
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-749551925
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-750064419
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-750061161
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-749967077


As mentioned above, one of the advantages of Conk > Medi is that you can afford to run another mega with it. These two work together in a strong breaking core and manage to wear down a lot of bulkier teams. Not as good as the screens HO but still usable.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-751076679

Partners
Mega Evolutions-

One of the few reasons to use conk over something like Adamant Medi is the ability to run another mega evolution on the team, so it makes sense to use this ability. The above are just solid examples of this, there's no reason why you couldn't use others like zard x, zam, w.e
Other Breakers-
etc.
Despite being able to hit quite hard, conk still struggles with a number of bulky mons in the tier. Thus, other wallbreakers can work in partnership with conk to fix these issues. Additionally, a number have checks that are pressured by conk making breaking easier
Psychic Stops-
etc.
Conk is a free revenge kill for lele so you need something to either get rid of it (pursuit trappers) or stop specs and z move variants from getting a free kill (steels)
Entry Hazards-

While conk hits like a truck its also crazy slow, so often it's forced out by it's checks allowing them to heal or w.e. Spikes and tspikes pressure these mons and often put them into mach range after taking a facade or drain punch

Other things like pivots and defensive backbones kinda go without saying, and this isn't an exhaustive list so if anyone has any suggestions feel free to lmk!!
Conclusion
At the end of the day, I found conk to be really underwhelming and generally pretty bad when using it- there's a clearly a reason it's not ranked on the VR. I can't say that I recommend giving it a go, which might come as a surprise given that I've gone and said "give terrakion a go" before. Conks just really not good, please steer a wide berth around this unmon

tl;dr conk is bad; i really don't like it; don't use it thank me later
 
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Indigo Plateau

from a distance seventeen
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributor
#17
USM OU Biweekly Research
taken over from Indigo Plateau
I know how hard it can be to get participation for this project, so I decided to help my old thread out for this round


Overview


Weavile has been seeing success lately because it can take advantage of common Pokemon like Mega Lati@s, Lando-T, Tapu Bulu, and Torn-T. Weavile brings a lot to the table for offensive teams: phenomenal offensive Ice-type STAB attacks and priority, one of the best utility moves in Knock Off, and Pursuit trapping. These qualities are remarkable and provide the rest of the team with a lot of support by handling two of the most common Mega Evolutions, Ground-types, and remove items all by itself.

However, Weavile also possesses some flaws that hold it back. It has terrible bulk, struggling to switch into most hits even if resisted. It is susceptible to every form of entry hazards, requiring Defog to stay healthy throughout the game. Lastly, although it has wonderful offensive typing, it is threatened out by metagame defining Pokemon in Mega Scizor, Clefable, and faster attackers like Tapu Koko and Choice Scarf users.

Teambuilding


The set that I decided to focus on was its Choice Band set:
Weavile @ Choice Band
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Icicle Crash
- Knock Off
- Ice Shard
- Pursuit

Good Partners


Fire-type Pokemon appreciate Weavile's ability to pressure Mega Latios and Mega Latias. These are some of Zard-Y's most reliable switch-ins and can both beat any Heatran set lacking Toxic. In return, these Fire-types can pressure Steel-types like Scizor and Celesteela. Fire + Ice + Dark is also amazingly potent offensively, as a lot of common builds (think Gastro + Torn-T + Clef + Steel) get heavily pressured by this combination.


Magnezone forms a solid offensive core with Weavile; it traps bulky Steel-types that Weavile struggles with, such as Celesteela, Ferrothorn, and most importantly, Scizor, while Weavile pressures Ground-types that attempt to switch into Magnezone.


Due to Weavile's frailty and susceptibility to hazards, it appreciates hazard removers. Both Torn-T and Zapdos are pretty popular atm, and they appreciate Weavile trapping the Eon twins for them. Torn-T and Weavile form an annoying Knock Off core together, while Zapdos's defensive typing allows it to handle annoying Steel-types for Weavile in Scizor, Kartana, and Celesteela.


Weavile does an excellent job at pressuring Mega Lati@s, both of which can beat any non-DD Zygarde variant with Ice Beam. In return, Zygarde can take advantage of the majority of Steel-types that switch into Weavile due to its plethora of sets. These two also do a good job at overwhelming defensive walls that can potentially wall them like Clefable and Ferrothorn.


Sample Teams & Replays

(clickable!)

by Energy
by bab (false)
by Indigo Plateau

Overall, Weavile has a lot of potential in the current metagame, but it requires proper support to succeed and can be very matchup reliant at times. Although Choice Band is a fantastic set, SD + Z-Move is something else that might be interesting. Icium-Z can OHKO Clefable after a single boost, while Darkinium-Z can be used to nail Steel-types that resist its Ice-type STAB moves, such as Mega Scizor. Weavile is a very fun Pokemon to use, and I'm glad one of my Sinnoh favorites has been gaining some more traction!​
 

Jordy

you should like this post
is a Contributor to Smogon
#19

Synopsis

Tornadus-T was an amazing Pokemon in the ORAS metagame because of the lack of a solid Flying-type resist that could take its attacks, it also provided good utility with access to Knock Off and U-turn. But with the release of SM, Tornadus-T fell off the face of the earth, with power creep having caught up to it, and the introduction of a myriad of Pokemon that could take it on such as Tapu Koko, Magearna, Tapu Lele, and other strong Pokemon, Tornadus-T was in a bad spot. Fortunately, with the release of USM, Tornadus-T was blessed with the move Defog, this was especially useful considering its ability to take on a myriad of Stealth Rock setters, such as Landorus-T, Clefable, and Ferrothorn, this is why its usage has surged lately, and why it's so good in today's metagame.

Flyinium Z

Tornadus-Therian @ Flyinium Z
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Hurricane
- Knock Off
- U-turn / Superpower
- Defog

This is Tornadus-T's most common set as it can effectively deal with most Stealth Rock setters with Supersonic Skystrike.

Pivot

Tornadus-Therian @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Hurricane
- Knock Off
- U-turn / Taunt
- Defog

This set takes a more defensive approach at Tornadus-T, this set is also extremely popular for its ability to pivot into a myriad of metagame staples such as Kartana, Landorus-T, and Tapu Bulu.

Samples


by TDK


by Jordy

Teambuilding Framework

Grass-types with Regenerator

Tangrowth and Amoonguss hold outstanding synergy with Tornadus-T as they can check strong wallbreakers like Ash Greninja and Tapu Koko that may trouble Tornadus-T. Tornadus-T can pressure Mega Venusaur and similar Grass-types that can annoy Tangrowth and Amoonguss.

Defensive Ground-types

Defensive Ground-types such as Gastrodon and Hippowdon are some of the best teammates with Tornadus-T, they appreciate its ability to pressure Grass-types and in return have an immunity to Electric-type attacks, which helps with Tapu Koko.

Zygarde

Zygarde appreciates Tornadus-T's ability to pressure Grass-types and Defog away Spikes and Toxic Spikes, which can become rather annoying for Zygarde. Tornadus-T also likes Zygarde's ability to pivot into certain Electric-type attacks.

Mega Lati@s

Tornadus-T can pressure common switch-ins to Mega Lati@s, mainly being Mew and Celesteela.

Conclusion

Tornadus-T had fallen off quite a lot in SM, but with the addition of Defog to its movepool it has seen a significant surge in usage, and is considered one of the best Pokemon in the tier, for good reasons.​
 
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#22


Overview


Mega Latias was a pokemon in ORAS whose niche was to serve as a sweeper with its Calm Mind set, taking advantage of pokemons such as Keldeo, Volcanion, M-Charizard Y and Thundurus to cite some; and could also serve as a more utility-based pokemon with its 2 Attacks + Reflect Type set. When it got released in mid-SM, its niche hasn"t changed much as these two sets were still the main ones and with M-Metagross' ban which was one of its main checks, Mega Latias was able to do muchmore work and basically sweeping every non-prepared teams with its Calm Mind set. In early USM, this pokemon has dropped massively in usage because of Weavile, Tyranitar as well as Mamoswine being so common because of Naganadel, but it has started back gaining usage since it's Calm Mind check can sweep most Balanced teams which are pretty dominant and has also started running a 3 Attacks + Roost set which offers amazing utility to both Balance and Bulky Offense teams thanks to its ability to effectively check common threats such as Heatran, Zygarde, Gliscor and Mega Medicham among others, while having a decent offensive presence thanks to its coverage moves that allow it to hit various types.

Sets



Latias-Mega @ Latiasite
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Calm Mind
- Recover
- Stored Power
- Substitute / Reflect Type

Calm Mind is Latias' most popular set. It can take advantage of passive pokemons such as Tangrowth, Gastrodon, Clefable, Zapdos and Ferrothorn and also more offensive ones such as Keldeo, M-Charizard Y and Kartana as set-up fodders to set-up subs and boost up with Calm Mind. Calm Mind boosts its Special Attack and Special Defense as well as boosting Stored Power's base power whic becomes stronger than Psychic after two Calm Minds. It also means that it's easy for Latias to win set-up "wars" against other Calm Mind users such as Clefable. The last slot is either Substitute that allows it to set-up on passive mons without fearing a status and also helps against Tyranitar by scouting for what it locks itself into (it can escape if it crunches and stall it out if it pursuits); or Reflect Type which is a safer option against trappers and also helps against other pokemons such as Scizor and Heatran. However, if using Reflect Type it should be used more carefully and not copy a wrong type and end up in a bad position (copying steel-type and ending up trapped by a Magnezone for example). This set is very effective against Balance andmore defensively oriented teams. It also very easily sweeps unprepared teams and is useful against "cheese" playstyle (see: this replay).


Latias-Mega @ Latiasite
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Surf
- Ice Beam
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Recover

3 Attacks + Roost Mega Latias is a set that has been starting to get traction lately thanks to the amazing utility it provides to both Balance and Bulky Offense builds. This mon easily come in and threaten passive pokemons such as Tangrowth, Ferrothorn and Zapdos, serves as a great check to common threats such as Zygarde, Gliscor, Landorus-T, Kartana and Heatran (non-toxic) among others, while still providing defensive presence thanks to its coverage allowing it to hit various types and most notably pokemons such as Steel-types such as M-Scizor and Ferrothorn, and Ground-types such as Gliscor and Zygarde. This set is pretty customizable and options such as Thunderbolt, Draco Meteor / Dragon Pulse, Earthquake and Psychic / Psyshock are all viable to hit different targets.

There are other viable sets of Mega Latias but these are mainly variations of the 3 Attacks set. These sets include the 2 Attacks + Reflect Type set which was already used in ORAS, the Defog set and also the Offensive Healing Wish set.

Building with M-Latias


As I mentioned above, both of Mega Latias' set fit very well on Balance and Bulky Offense builds. Mega Latias appreciates having a solid defensive core to surround it as well as wallbreakers / other wincons that help it doing its job of breaking through teams.

Good Partners


Mega Latias really appreciates the company of Hazard setters as they can help it weakening opposing teams and makes it easier for Mega Latias to break them.


Mega Latias appreciates the help of wallbreakers that can help wearing down its checks such as Clefable and Mega Scizor and/or clean after Mega Latias has done its job.


Similarly to wallbreakers, other set-up sweepers can help Mega Latias doing its job by weakening its checks and counters, and sweep after it has weakened the opposing team.


Mega Latias also appreciates the company of trappers that can remove pokemons like opposing M-Lati@s, Reuniclus, Tornadus-T and Ghost-types (in Weavile and Tyranitar's case); as well as Steel-types like M-Scizor (in Magnezone's case) that can all annoy Mega Latias.

Sample Teams & Replays


-by Eternam and imsosorrylol
(replays:
1 2)


-by bro fist


-by Snou


-by me

Closing Words


Overall Mega Latias is a pokemon that definitely has a lot of potential in the OU metagame. It has been rising in usage lately and will surely keep doing so during the incoming months. Both its Calm Mind and it's 3 Attacks set are pretty dangerous and not hard to fit on teams although Mega Latias still needs some support in order to work and is stopped by pursuit trappers and faster pokemons such as Greninja.​
 
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