Poké Monday 12/14/15: Yveltal

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Tier: Uber
Type: Dark/Flying
Stats: 126 HP, 131 Atk, 95 Def, 131 Sp.Atk, 98 Sp.Def, 99 Speed
Ability: Dark Aura

Usable moves: Acrobatics, Aerial Ace, Air Slash, Dark Pulse, Disable, Dragon Claw, Façade, Focus Blast, Foul Play, Frustration, Heat Wave, Hidden Power (Fire, Ice), Hone Claws, Hurricane, Hyper Voice, Knock Off, Oblivion Wing, Protect, Psychic, Rest, Return, Rock Slide, Roost, Shadow Ball, Shadow Claw, Substitute, Sucker Punch, Tailwind, Taunt, Toxic, U-turn, Zen Headbutt

Overview

The cover legendaries of Pokémon X and Y have a relatively odd shared stat distribution. First off, only the Defense stat is divisible by 5. Second, it has excellent HP and offensive stats hindered by less stellar defenses and Speed. Third, speaking of its Speed, it is faster than most Ubers (i.e., base 90s and 95s), slower than base 100s (which is pretty much the midpoint between offense and defense), and speed ties with Genesect.

With such high offensive stats, backed with a boosting ability in Dark Aura, Yveltal stands as the strongest Dark-type special attacker…ever. Just look at how much damage it can deal:

252+ SpA Life Orb Dark Aura Yveltal Dark Pulse vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Multiscale Lugia: 133-157 (31.9 – 37.7%) — 0.2% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

Keep in mind that this is specially defensive Lugia, which isn’t even standard. Physically defensive Lugia has it far worse:

252+ SpA Life Orb Dark Aura Yveltal Dark Pulse vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Multiscale Lugia: 172-203 (41.3 – 48.7%) — guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

It is also worth mentioning that Dark Aura makes its Sucker Punch the strongest form of priority in the game (although keep in mind that Extreme Speed has higher priority) and gives it the strongest Foul Play in the game (pretty much tied with that of Huge Power Diggersby, which is irrelevant because Diggersby does not run Foul Play).

As for Flying STAB, which helps against Fighting-types that try to soak up the Dark STAB, Yveltal has a nice signature move in Oblivion Wing. This move, although it has a middling 80 BP, has the amazing side effect of restoring HP equivalent to 75% of the damage dealt. Knowing how much damage Yveltal can potentially deal, this is quite something to behold. Also, if more power is required out of Yveltal’s Flying STAB, there is always the option of running Hurricane, which is more powerful at the cost of utility and accuracy.

Being Flying-type, Yveltal also has access to reliable recovery in the form of Roost (which also removes its bothersome weaknesses to Electric, Ice, and Rock for the duration of the turn). Additionally, it has Taunt to prevent the opponent from setting up all over it, as well as U-turn for scouting.

If I had to name any flaws of Yveltal… Aside from the oddity of its stats, its weaknesses are to rather common offensive types (notably Rock), it has a relatively unappealing physical movepool (even with Knock Off, Sucker Punch, and U-turn), and, in spite of being one of the few Flying-type Ubers, it does not have access to Defog. Also, because it lacks any boosting moves besides Hone Claws, its title of “strongest Dark-type attacker” really only applies in terms of raw power. It also lacks Pursuit, making it less effective of a check to Psychic- and Ghost-types than it could be.

As a whole, Yveltal has a weird stat layout that is chiefly offensive but can still be considered at least somewhat defensive. It threatens Psychic- and Ghost-types with its powerful Dark STAB (including Sucker Punch for offensive threats) and neutrality to Fighting (a common coverage type used by both).

Set 1: All-Out Attacker

Yveltal @ Life Orb
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 132 HP / 28 Atk / 252 SpA / 96 Spe
Rash Nature
– Dark Pulse
– Oblivion Wing
– Sucker Punch
– Heat Wave

To be honest, this set was taken from the Smogon Strategy Pokédex because, much like Tornadus-Therian (which I reviewed 6/15/15), figuring out the EV spread of a Pokémon with such odd stats as Yveltal requires competitive experience, which I lack. Life Orb and Rash nature with max Special Attack EVs make for maximum power, 96 Speed EVs allow it to creep past uninvested Lugia, and the HP EVs let it “survive Mega Salamence’s Return only after Stealth Rock damage.” The rest of the EVs are put into Attack to strengthen its Sucker Punches.

Dark Aura-boosted Dark Pulse is Yveltal’s raison d’être, nearly the strongest Dark-type move ever. (The true strongest is Hyperspace Fury coming from max Attack Adamant Hoopa-Unbound.) Oblivion Wing is extra STAB that, as mentioned, hits Fighting-types hard and helps Yveltal regain HP lost through residual damage, notably from Life Orb and Stealth Rock. Sucker Punch gives it priority, allowing it to deal respectable damage to offensive threats that are faster than it (although, again, Extreme Speed is something to watch out for). Heat Wave grants it the ability to 2HKO Klefki and Mega Mawile (OHKO on Mawile pre-Mega), who would otherwise wall the set.

Set 2: Defensive

Yveltal @ Leftovers
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Foul Play
– Taunt
– Toxic
– Roost

Yveltal may not be the most defensive thing around, but with Dark Aura-boosted Foul Play, it certainly hits harder than the average defensive ‘mon. Taunt prevents Yveltal from becoming setup fodder to slower hazard setters and setup sweepers such as support Dialga and less invested variants of Groudon and Kyogre. Toxic allows it to wear down Pokémon that can comfortably take Foul Play, including Blissey and most Dark resists (i.e., Dark-, Fighting-, and Fairy-types). Roost grants it longevity and, for the duration of the turn, removes its icky weaknesses to Electric, Ice, and Rock, however leaving it vulnerable to Fighting-type moves.

EVs are chiefly physically defensive because its primary purpose is to deter physical attackers with its strong Foul Plays. That said, it is ill advised to invest 252 HP because of residual damage—full HP investment would give it 456 HP, a number divisible by 4, which makes it faint on the fourth switch-in to Stealth Rock; 248 EVs, on the other hand, would give it 455 HP, allowing it to live a fourth Stealth Rock switch-in. Minimum Attack is required on this specific variant to reduce damage from confusion and opposing Foul Plays.

The fun thing about this set is that it proves to be a decent check to ExtremeKiller Arceus, being able to take a +2 Life Orb Extreme Speed even after Stealth Rock damage and having a 75% chance to OHKO with Foul Play after Arceus’ Life Orb recoil (100% with hazards), although keep in mind that +4 with Stealth Rock (and +6 in general) will screw it over.

Other Options

Focus Blast is an option on the offensive set to hit opposing Dark-types harder and to guarantee a 2HKO on support Dialga, while still maintaining its ability to 2HKO Mega Mawile (although it does not OHKO pre-Mega). It also does far greater damage to Diancie and Tyranitar, who also resist both of its STABs. Hurricane is, again, a stronger substitute for Oblivion Wing at the expense of utility and accuracy, with the primary perk of always 2HKOing offensive variants of Xerneas, regardless of hazards. Hidden Power Ice is a guaranteed OHKO on Rayquaza and Mega Salamence, but it serves no purpose otherwise.

Dealing massive damage with Life Orb is just one option for offensive prowess. Instead, Yveltal can opt to run a Choice Scarf to patch up its middling Speed and cut past base 90 and 95 Scarfers, becoming an effective revenge killer with its strong Dark Pulses and Hurricanes/Oblivion Wings, as well as a relatively unorthodox offensive tool in Foul Play that deals ridiculous damage to physically offensive threats that can take its other hits comfortably. (With a set like this, it is advised to invest enough physical bulk to avoid the OHKO from +2 ExtremeKiller Arceus, which requires no fewer than 8 EVs in Defense, or 16 in HP (12 works too, but that hits an HP value divisible by 4 (396, to be exact) and thus, like full HP investment on a defensive set, is ill advised), or some mix between the two.)

Additionally, U-turn can be used on any set (preferably Scarf) for scouting and momentum and stuff. Yveltal also has the option of running Substitute and Disable to make it even more threatening to Psychic- and Ghost-types by limiting their coverage options, but a set like that has more difficulty overall checking offensive threats and dealing heavy damage to defensive threats, having to settle for Dark Pulse and Oblivion Wing as offensive options and Leftovers for longevity. On a final note, Knock Off may seem cool in theory, but with the introduction of Primals (and therefore the ability to dedicate half of a team to items that are impervious to Knock Off), it is a far less useful move in Ubers than it is in lower tiers.

Sample Teams

http://pastebin.com/xG60ymed – team 1; contains offensive Yveltal

http://pastebin.com/WR1VvtyX – team 2; contains defensive Yveltal

Only tested the defensive team twice and the offensive team once (and a previous rendition of the offensive team once before). Most people who are ranked low in Showdown Ubers bring some really questionable Pokémon (for example, Alakazam without Magic Guard, Lugia with Blizzard and Dragon Pulse, Sableye with Fake Out and Trick), but I played really badly the first time I fought with the defensive team. I could have laddered more, but since my penultimate college semester recently ended (and I’m still waiting for the rest of my grades), I just didn’t feel like it, honestly.

Team 1 contains:

  • offensive Yveltal (set above)
  • defensive Primal Groudon for Stealth Rock and resisting Fairy attacks
  • Mega Lucario, mainly for revenge killing Geomancy Xerneas
  • Wobbuffet for trapping offensive threats or something
  • Xerneas for clerical support and special bulkiness
  • Arceus-Ghost for Defog (used to be Mega Salamence, then I realized that I made the stupid mistake of including two Megas on one team)

Team 2 contains:

  • defensive Yveltal (set above)
  • defensive Primal Groudon again
  • Palkia as a Primal Kyogre switch-in
  • Choice Scarf Zekrom as a revenge killer and offensive pivot
  • Xerneas again
  • Arceus-Ghost again (not Mega Salamence here because I don’t want too many Dragons)

Yeah, both of these teams have three members in common. Nothing wrong with that, I hope.

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