This month's Legendary Pokémon are Latias and Latios, a pair of sleek Psychic- and Dragon-type Pokémon. These two Pokémon have a lot in common—they're both quick with powerful special moves, they share the same types, and they're both great at winning battles! Details about how to add these powerful creatures to your team are available at Pokemon.com/Legendary.
Unlike most of the Legendary Pokémon you can add to your team this year, Latias and Latios are permitted in the Battle Tree and neither are restricted Pokémon from the 2019 Video Game Championships. These Pokémon will be valuable additions to your team, so you should take care to make them as powerful as possible. Read on for some tips about how to help your Latias or Latios reach its full potential.
The Pokémon you receive will be different depending on which game you're playing. Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Sun players will receive Latias, while Pokémon Ultra Moon and Pokémon Moon players will receive Latios instead. You'll get only one of these Pokémon via distribution, but you can catch the other in the Ultra Wormhole if you're playing Pokémon Ultra Sun or Pokémon Ultra Moon.
The Pokémon you receive will be higher level and know stronger moves with Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon, and they'll be holding a super-rare Gold Bottle Cap. They'll also be Lv. 100—perfect for Hyper Training. If you visit Mr. Hyper at the Hau'oli City Shopping Mall and present him with a Gold Bottle Cap, you can instantly max out your Legendary Pokémon's individual strengths. That quickly gets one big element of preparing for battle out of the way.
Even though your Pokémon won't need any more Exp. Points, you should still take it into battle to train its base stats. Latios is a bit stronger offensively than Latias is—who is, in turn, stronger defensively. Despite their differences, the two Pokémon have similar enough stats that most competitors train them similarly.
Trainers commonly look for Latias and Latios that have Natures that increase their Speed, especially the Attack-reducing Timid Nature. Trainers generally maximize their Special Attack and Speed, with some opting to mix in some defensive stats if they're planning around Mega Evolution. A Naive or Hasty Nature is ideal if you're hoping to mix some physical attacks into your strategy, which is best reserved for Latios.
Latias and Latios are the only Pokémon that can benefit from the Soul Dew held item, which increases the damage they deal with Dragon-type and Psychic-type attacks. You can acquire this rare item from Secret Lab A in Aether Paradise once you've finished your adventure. Don't forget that you can help these high-level Pokémon relearn moves they'd normally have learned if they had leveled up if you bring a Heart Scale to Madam Memorial in the Pokémon Center on Mount Lanakila. You can collect Heart Scales easily by visiting the restaurants across Alola.
Red Means Stop
Most Legendary Pokémon have offense-focused stats, but the sturdy Latias is one of few that perform best on defense. This unusual focus meant Latias didn't have much of a niche in some past battling formats, but its high defensive stats have since become invaluable as Mega-Evolved Pokémon, Z-Moves, and powerful new species of Pokémon have been discovered. Latias is typically selected over Latios when its Trainer is looking for strategies that value enduring attacks over executing them.
Latias's hearty defensive stats make it particularly challenging to knock out in Single Battles. Trainers often teach it Toxic and Defog and give it Latiasite to hold in full six-on-six matches to slowly wear down foes while keeping Spikes, Stealth Rock, and Toxic Spikes off the field. Teaching Latias Recover can make it nearly immovable in this role, but more offensive teams may opt for Healing Wish to sacrifice Latias and revitalize a more offensively inclined teammate instead.
The flexible Legendary Pokémon is great at supporting teams in Double Battles as well. Latias can increase its partner's damage with Helping Hand, lower both opponents' Speed with Icy Wind, or increase the Speed of its whole team with Tailwind (a Latias that knew all three of these moves helped win a recent Regional Championship). Latias has had some historical success in tournaments with peculiar moves like Heal Pulse, Reflect Type, Role Play, and Swagger, so this is one Pokémon that you can feel confident using for unexpected strategies.
Trainers in both Single and Double Battles often teach Latias Calm Mind to take advantage of its incredible Special Attack and Special Defense stats. Calm Mind is normally paired with Recover to take stone-wall opponents without powerful physical attacks. Most Trainers opt to take advantage of Latias's types with a Psychic-type or Dragon-type attack as its final move. The Legendary Pokémon can make solid use of Latiasite, Dragonium Z, Life Orb, or Soul Dew with this strategy.
Latias is the only Pokémon capable of learning Mist Ball by leveling up. It attacks the target with a mist-like flurry of feathers for 70 power, 100 accuracy, and a high chance of lowering the target's Special Attack. The added effect fits nicely with strategies playing off of Latias's defensive prowess, but Mist Ball's potential is capped by its modest power and meager 5 PP (or 8 with PP Ups). Don't be afraid to keep Mist Ball as part of your strategy, though, if you're looking for some unique flair in your adventures!
An Offensive Dynamo
The offensively inclined Latios is more of the prototypical Dragon-type attacker you might expect. It's very quick, and it has a fantastic Special Attack stat—both of which pair nicely with the special moves it can learn. Latios was one of the prime Double Battle attackers for many years, but you'll need to be careful against Fairy-type foes in modern battles. Latios is selected over Latias when Trainers are looking to dish out as much damage as possible each turn.
Latios is best known for similar strategies in both Single and Double Battles. Trainers typically opt for a Nature that increases its Speed, train its Speed and Special Attack to the max, and then fire away with powerful special moves with help from Life Orb, Soul Dew, Choice Specs, Dragonium Z, or Latiosite.
It's rare to see a Latios without Psychic and Draco Meteor. Trainers typically complement those powerful attacks with another special move or two that suit the enemies they expect to face. Ice Beam is fantastic against foes that are doubly weak against it, including many other Dragon-type Pokémon; Energy Ball is great for teams that struggle with doubly vulnerable Gastrodon; and a Fire-type Hidden Power enables Latios to do some damage to Steel-type foes. Protect is hard to live without in Double Battles, while either Recover or Roost is a worthy alternative to another attack for Single Battles.
Latios doesn't wield supportive moves with the same level of aptitude as Latias due to its lower defensive stats, but that doesn't mean you should teach it only attacks. Tailwind is a great choice in Double Battles even for the most aggressive strategies, and Defog remains a quality option in six-on-six Single Battles. Like Latias, Latios can also carry the move Calm Mind, although the end result won't be as sturdy. The damage, however, will ramp up more quickly. And if you're looking to surprise your foe, Latios looks pretty good outpacing unsuspecting foes in a Choice Scarf.
Latios is the only Pokémon that can learn Luster Purge by leveling up. This quirky special Psychic-type attack has 100 accuracy, 70 power, and an excellent chance to lower the target's Special Defense. The added effect is only strong enough to make up the difference in raw power from Psychic or Psyshock if Latios uses Luster Purge repeatedly on the same target, but the move is definitely powerful enough to keep around if you enjoy the opportunity to use an unusual attack.
We hope these powerful Pokémon help you blow out your foes in battle. You can find more information about upcoming distributions at Pokemon.com/Legendary, and you can check out the list of all ongoing Pokémon distributions to make sure you're caught up. Don't forget to check out more Pokémon TCG and video game articles, strategy, and tournament analysis at Pokemon.com/Strategy.