– Unified Minds
October 7, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Latios-GX is pretty tricky to use. Usually an Ability this atrocious should turn off players from using it. Effectively needing a full bench to even attack, if you can’t get all 5 of your Pokémon on the Bench, Latios is a sitting duck. It’s a shame too because it has two good attacks. While Pokémon Fan Club can get you 2 basic Pokémon, Nest Ball rotated out from Standard, and Net Ball can only work in type specific decks even though it might work on theory. I can’t see any cookie cutter grass Pokémon that can fit in any deck except for maybe Pheromosa from Forbidden Light due to a single colorless attack and free retreat. This mandates a Pokémon that can turn off abilities, and pretty much those have rotated out as well (Alolan Muk Power of Alchemy and Garbodor’s Garbotoxin).
While this ability is pretty hard to play around, it does have good attacks. Tag Purge costs PCC for 120 damage and also prevents all damage from Tag Team Pokémon. Most decks use Tag Team Pokémon, so being able to protect itself from damage from those Tag Team Pokémon would pretty much force your opponent to run other single prize or regular GX Pokémon just to get around that protection. A well timed Custom Catcher can also reset the protective effect. And then there’s Clear Vision, which costs P and prevents your opponent from using their GX attacks for the rest of the game. If your opponent had already used it, the this attack is all but futile. The sooner you use it, the better. Anyways, Latios-GX doesn’t have to be on the Active spot because Mew & Mewtwo-GX can copy those attacks. Latios can even be on the discard pile and Mewduo can still copy those attacks. Pretty much any Basic-EX/GX Pokémon got improved due to Mew & Mewtwo.
Standard: 3.5/5 (pretty specific, but pretty useful under the right circumstances. ReshiZard, Pikarom, Mewduo, Slowpoke/Psyduck, and others get hard walled by this.)
Expanded: 3/5 (Tag Teams are a small fraction against this format.)
Wait, we haven’t looked at Latios-GX (SM – Unified Minds 78/236, 223/236, 243/236) yet? Time to remedy that! First things first, this is a Pokémon-GX, with all the pros and cons that go with that. [P] Typing is handy right now, both for exploiting Weakness and because Mysterious Treasure is so handy. Being a Basic is still the best Stage of Evolution, the fastest and most reliable even though there are cards out there that punish a player for relying on Basic Pokémon. 170 HP is a bit low for a Basic Pokémon-GX; a few attackers can even take it out while on the Bench! [P] Weakness is a concern because there are already other cards that give decks a reason to exploit it. No Resistance is typical, even if it is technically the worst. A free Retreat Cost is perfect, providing additional use for this card.
Latios-GX has one Ability, one attack, and one GX-attack. “Power Bind” is the Ability, and it states that Latios-GX cannot attack if you have four or fewer Pokémon in play. Needless to say, this is a problem for Latios-GX, but wouldn’t interfere with it functioning as a pivot Pokémon. What about the attacks? “Tag Purge” costs [PCC] and does 120 while also placing an effect on Latios-GX; during your opponent’s next turn attacks from their TAG TEAM Pokémon cannot damage Latios-GX. “Clear Vision-GX” states that your opponent cannot use any GX-attacks for the rest of the game, and can be used for just [P]. Tag Purge offers some specialized – but still useful – protection while still providing a decent hit for the Energy. Clear Vision-GX does no damage, but it places an effect on your opponent’s Pokémon, preventing them from using any GX-attacks the rest of the game.
If that doesn’t sound right to you, it doesn’t to me, either. I may have to challenge this ruling, though it could be due to something about the English translation. The way our cards read, Clear Vision-GX is placing an effect on your opponent in general; if it was on the Pokémon in play at the time Clear Vision-GX is used, anything hitting the field later could use the attack… but they can’t. Regardless, Channeler can remove the effect of this attack. There are ways around Tag Purge as well. For example, Reshiram & Charizard-GX can damage Latios-GX through Tag Purge if the former hits the latter with its “Double Blaze-GX” attack while it has at least three extra [R] Energy attached, as Double Blaze-GX’s damage ignores effects on your opponent’s Active under these circumstances. Clear Vision-GX would still protect, though, because it prevents your opponent from using the attack at all.
Latios-GX is already doing its thing in the competitive sphere. You’ll see it in some Malamar (SM – Forbidden Light 51/131; SM – Black Star Promos SM117; Shiny Vault SV18/SV94) lists, but it’s in many (most?) Mewtwo & Mew-GX lists, where it can serve as an alternate attacker (if need be), easily retreat out of the way if it ends up being your opener, serve as a pivot Pokémon if need be, and most importantly, let Mewtwo & Mew-GX copy its attacks via their “Perfection” Ability, whether Latios-GX is on the Bench or in the discard pile. This creates a simple combo to bypass Power Bind! Given how important TAG TEAM Pokémon are to the current metagame, and how GX-attacks are also vital to certain decks if a something can easily enough afford the attack costs, a TecH Latios-GX probably makes sense there as well.
What about Expanded? I still have no recent data for Expanded, but I believe the above two decks have variants here. If not, I’d think something could make good use of Latios-GX, especially when it has access to things like Dimension Valley, Double Colorless Energy, Max Elixir, etc. You even have the option of dropping Silent Lab or running some other Ability canceling effects if you don’t want to have to worry about Power Bind. All these goodies come at a price, though: more competition. This includes more decks that attack with something other than TAG TEAM Pokémon, as well as more decks that can just OHKO Latios-GX. If you pull Latios-GX in the Limited Format, do not use it in a Mulligan (a.k.a. +39) deck! Power Bind will leave you with nothing to do! Latios-GX will suit any deck that plans on having at least four Pokémon in play and can run at least a few Psychic Energy, though.
Latios-GX isn’t the star of any deck, but its a useful trick for Mewtwo & Mew-GX decks, as well as Malamar decks. You probably don’t need a lot of them, but try to have at least one to slip into those decks or anything else that seems compatible. It will give you a nice potential tank against TAG TEAM Pokémon, and the option of burning your GX-attack to deny your opponent theirs!
Addendum 20191009: After taking just a little more time to research the matter, I found a post I’d read before but had forgotten about. Yes, the English wording for Clear Vision-GX is misleading; the original Japanese makes it very clear the effect is placed on your opponent’s Pokémon. Still no answer on what that means for Pokémon entering play after Clear Vision-GX has been used.
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