Project VGC 2019 Ultra Series - POTW Analysis: Kyurem-White

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VGC 2019 Ultra Series POTW: Kyurem-White!

Kyurem Article Artwork.jpg

Hey once again everyone! I'm Conics, and this is Week 2 of my Pokémon of the Week (POTW) series, where I attempt to take a niche Pokémon and shed some light on its potentially viable sets in the current VGC meta!

This week, we have Kyurem-White, a Dragon/Ice-type restricted Pokémon with a monstrous Special Attack stat and movepool that live up to its awesome design! I personally feel like Pokémon Black, White, Black 2, and White 2 had the best stories of all the Pokémon games I've played. Who could have forgotten the DNA Spliced fusion of Kyurem and the battle versus Ghetsis in the Giant Chasm? To be honest, the scary part wasn't Kyurem, but the Life Orb Hydreigon Ghetsis used as his flagship Pokémon in that battle...

But no matter! Today, I'm more concerned with the fusion of Kyurem with the mascot of Pokémon Black, Reshiram, to birth the mascot of Pokémon... White 2? Man, I don't know. Let's ignore the names and get into this!


Type: Dragon/Ice

Base Stats:
HP: 125
Attack: 120
Defense: 90
Sp. Attack: 170
Sp. Defense: 100
Speed: 95
Total: 700

Of the usable restricted Pokémon in VGC 2019 Ultra Series, I think Kyurem-White is by far the worst. However, that Special Attack is pretty awesome. The great thing about it is that it has this much raw power without the use of an item or special move. Mega Gengar has a base 170 SpA, but must be holding a Mega Stone to have it. Primal Kyogre has a base 180 SpA, but it only achieves this when it holds a Blue Orb. Mega Rayquaza has a base 180 SpA, but must know Dragon Ascent to Mega Evolve, and so must run a mixed attacker set in order to properly use it. The only Pokémon that has a higher base SpA without the need for an item is Xurkitree with the base 173 stat, but it doesn't mean a ton when it lacks the absurdly wide movepool that Kyurem gets! More on that in a bit.

However, the outstanding issue with Kyurem is its typing defensively. It's weak to Fairy, Steel, Dragon, Rock, and Fighting, but these weaknesses aren't as black and white (pun fully intended) as they may seem. I will talk about that more in a bit as well.


Turboblaze: Moves can be used on the target regardless of abilities. Admittedly, this isn't a stellar ability when compared to the abilities of many of the other restricted Pokémon in the meta. However, it still has its use to blast Levitate Bronzong with Earth Power and Multiscale Lugia with Ice Beam (from full health). It's also able to ignore Lunala's Shadow Shield and Dusk Mane Necrozma's Prism Armor so its damage doesn't get hindered, which is always a useful offensive ability to ha-


Believe it or not, Turboblaze is able to ignore Multiscale, but it doesn't ignore Lunala's Shadow Shield! It also ignores Solid Rock, but doesn't ignore Prism Armor, so Kyurem's super-effective damage onto Dusk Mane Necrozma is still going to be partially negated. Therefore, Kyurem can pack the damage onto these two Pokémon only after they have been chipped a bit. But now to get onto the fun part about Kyurem-White!

Notable Moves:

- Physical:
Iron Head - Is it super-effective against Xerneas? Yes. Should Kyurem have this in its moveset? No.
Payback - Is it super-effective against Lunala? Yes. Should Kyurem have this in its moveset? No.

Stone Edge - Is it super-effective against Ho-Oh? Yes. Should Kyurem have this in its moveset? Take a wild guess.

- Status/Support:
Icy Wind - Kyurem-White's Icy Wind is the strongest STAB Icy Wind in the game, able to OHKO the zero-bulk, meta-standard Mega Salamence spreads that help define the metagame. However, Kyurem needs to be sending out as much damage as possible as stated above, and so I personally feel Icy Wind is not a good move choice when deciding on damaging attacks. However, Kyurem can capitalize on an Icy Wind that its partner uses.
Light Screen - If Icy Wind is bad, then Light Screen is worse for Kyurem to use. However, this is a great move for a partner to use to help supplement Kyurem's decent special bulk, but more on that later.
Roost - For the sample sets, I honestly considered a Misty/Psychic Seed set with Roost to do the impossible and make a bulky Ice-type, but there's a reason it's impossible. Don't use this move.
Protect - Yeah. It's just necessary when not using a Choice item.

- Special:
Ice Beam - Okay, so the special movepool is where things start to get interesting. However, Ice Beam is pretty mandatory. It's Kyurem's flagship attack and has a very good offensive typing. It's the only unboosted Ice Beam that can OHKO zero-bulk Mega Rayquaza under Delta Stream, and all forms of Ray are significantly threatened with an item like Life Orb, Choice Specs, or Icium Z.
Earth Power - This is another pretty mandatory attack for Kyurem, as it smacks Pokémon like Nihilego, Incineroar, Togedemaru, Stakataka, and Bronzong, while securing the 2HKO onto Primal Groudon pretty handily. Ground + Ice is in general really good attacking coverage, especially off a base 170 SpA, hitting just about everything in the meta at least neutrally.
Fusion Flare - This is also a tool to hit Steel-types in place of Earth Power. However, despite having a 10 BP edge over Earth Power and the 4x damage onto Ferrothorn, it doesn't hit Stakataka super-effectively, nor does it allow Kyurem to hit Groudon and Nihilego super-effectively. It also gets completely negated under Primordial Sea, which is not a good thing given how long Kyogre will likely be staying on the field against Kyurem. This is also the move that the Kyurem in the above picture is using.
Focus Blast - If you want to miss hit Shuca Berry Stakataka, Ferrothorn, and Mega-Kangaskhan super effectively in addition to the stuff Earth Power hits, Focus Blast, albeit unreliable, can work alongside Ice Beam for absurdly strong coverage all in two moveslots.

Flash Cannon - It hits Xerneas and Tapu Lele. That's about it, but it can be situationally used, simply because of the sheer power Fairy-types possess in this metagame. Tapu Koko is hit harder by Earth Power, however.
Blizzard - In 2016, Patrick Smith (aka Salamenace) got second place at the California Regional Competition using a Kyurem-White that knew Blizzard. He paired this with a Gravity Meowstic and a Primal Groudon with Precipice Blades. So yeah, if you want to use Blizzard, you should probably be running Gravity somewhere else on the team as well. Unlike Thunder (which has 50% accuracy under Sun), Blizzard doesn't receive an accuracy nerf under weather that isn't Hail. With all the Primals and Mega Ray running around, that's pretty important when using this attack. I also believe it's necessary to run Ice Beam if Blizzard is being used as well. This allows for important KOs onto Mega Ray, but also to circumvent Wide Guard.
Ice Burn - The base power of this move's Z form is too hard to ignore, as it surgically removes Mega Rayquaza, unboosted Xerneas, Primal Groudon, and Mega Kangaskhan. However, do be careful, as your one whiffed Z-Move into a Tapu Fini or Incineroar might be catastrophic.
Draco Meteor - The strong all-rounded coverage that Draco Meteor brings to the table is staggering. It also offers a strong method to deal damage to Primal Kyogre. However, more likely than not, it can't be fit onto any non-Choiced set, given that it doesn't hit anything but Dragons super-effectively, and Kyurem already has another STAB dedicated to that.

Other Things to Note:

Okay so I touched on Kyurem's typing earlier. 5 weaknesses stings a bit in VGC, especially with no ability like Filter to reduce the damage. However, there's more to it. Let's break each weakness down by type.

- Fairy:
Yeah there's not much to help against that. Outdamaging them with the aforementioned Z-Ice Burn or Flash Cannon before they can set up is the most effective way to deal with this Fairies, but you'll largely need to invest in a dedicated check to Xerneas, Tapu Fini, and Tapu Lele. Moonblast just hits too hard.

If Trick Room is up, Kyurem's matchup vs Steel-types becomes really bad against them. However, as I mentioned before, Kyurem has access to 3 different, powerful attacks that smack Steels. The matchup, while scary at times, isn't unwinnable for Kyurem.

Okay so this is where my point can really be made. When was the last time you saw a good Rock-type move as a staple for the metagame? Likely never (even if Mega Aerodactyl used it for a tiny bit in Taiwan). The only mainstay Rock-type attacker in VGC 2019 is Stakataka, which hates Earth Power/Focus Blast and much prefers to use STAB Gyro Ball over Rock Slide when facing down Kyurem. So honestly, this weakness is pretty negligible.

This type is in a similar boat to Rock. While super-effective against Kyurem, very few meta-staple Pokémon have mainstay Dragon attacks to deal with Kyurem. Dialga comes close but if chipped enough, then it loses to Earth Power/Focus Blast. Primal Groudon have started using Dragon Claw to help deal with the omnipresent Mega Rayquaza. However, its STAB Fire Punch under Desolate Land edges out Dragon Claw's power against Kyurem, so it would rather be using that instead. This is yet another instance of a weakness being negligible for Kyurem.

Okay so this is yet another negligible weakness in my opinion. The 4 main users of Fighting-type attacks in this meta I can think of are Mega Lucario, Aura Sphere Mega Mewtwo Y, Hitmontop, and Low Kick Incineroar. All four of these Pokémon are pretty rare in VGC, but also absolutely hate taking attacks from Kyurem. Zero-bulk Lucario gets OHKO'd by Earth Power. Zero-bulk Mega Mewtwo Y gets 2HKO'd by Modest 252 Ice Beam 99.6% of the time, and both it and Hitmontop are defeated in one hit by Z-Ice Burn. Even the most specially bulky Incineroar get 2HKO'd by Earth Power. Only the Assault Vest variant can withstand two Earth Power attacks from Kyurem and is highly susceptible to getting worn down due to not holding a pinch berry. Due to the Pokémon listed here not being very common and not fully countering Kyurem, I just don't see this as a significant type weakness.

Well okay! So Kyurem only has a significant weakness to Fairy and Steel. Now what? Well now, Kyurem can rely a bit more on its 125/90/100 defensive stats to get the job done! It can't switch in a bunch of times due to not having many notable resistances, but if it fires off the damage it needs to when it's on the field, then it will have made its mark!

How Should it be Used?
I think I've gotten my opinion across by now, but this is definitely an attacker you're looking at here. With the great offensive movepool and stats it gets, Kyurem has to be damaging with different types of attacks to be useful. Blocking Fake Out is crucial to ensuring the damage is dealt, so it partners pretty well with Tsareena (not to mention it gets support from Helping Hand, Feint, slow U-Turn switch-ins, and a nice way to smack Kyogre). Having a couple dedicated Fairy checks is also necessary, so Steel- and Fire-types can be useful partners. If you're not running a Choice Scarf, then having Icy Wind/Electroweb or Tailwind support can be crucial, so Tapu Fini (which also gets Light Screen), Assault Vest Tapu Koko (which hits Kyogre nicely), and Ho-Oh (dedicated Fairy check) can provide the speed control Kyurem needs. Gravity support is required on sets containing Blizzard. This Pokémon also requires very good reads so defensive switch-ins get no room to counterattack, so the player must always be on their A-game. Alternatively, the heavy coverage Kyurem provides can be great to support other Pokémon by eliminating their checks. Xerneas can benefit from Kyurem's large damage potential onto Steel-types, Amoonguss, and Mega Rayquaza. However, you generally will want a second Steel check when using this restricted pair.

Sample Sets


Okay, so I've gotten my chance to talk about what Kyurem generally likes to do. Here are some sets you can use to chill your opponents with this restricted Pokémon!
- Ice Beam
- Earth Power
- Draco Meteor/Blizzard
- Fusion Flare/Flash Cannon
Ability: Turboblaze
Item: Choice Scarf/Choice Specs
Nature: Modest (-Atk, +SpA) or Timid (-Atk, +Spe)
EVs: 252 SpA, 4 SpD, 252 Spe or 100 HP, 244 SpA, 164 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk

This is an easy enough set. Like I said, you generally want to be hitting as hard as you can when using Kyurem since it's just so geared towards doing so. For this reason, a general 252/252/4 set works fine enough. However, I really don't like speed ties. Since Tapu Lele has the same base speed and often holds a Choice Scarf as well, I don't like risking a speed tie to live or fall to the inevitable Moonblast. The second set is able to live Modest Tapu Lele's Moonblast 100% of the time from full health and hit it back for over 50% with Ice Beam while still outspeeding max speed Timid Tapu Koko (200 Speed) with a Scarf attached. Since Modest Kyurem's speed with this alternative spread hits 136 Speed, it will hit 204 with a Scarf, which allows it to outspeed anything that adjusts their speed to barely edge out base 130s, including Choice Scarf Landorus-T with 134 Speed or Groudon and Kyogre with 101 Speed (to outpace Koko under Tailwind). The first two attacks are pretty mandatory for reasons discussed above, but the last two are a bit up in the air. Draco Meteor is a stronger STAB than Ice Beam, but being forced to switch out after is not always favorable. Blizzard is a fun way to hit both opponents with powerful Ice damage, but it necessitates Gravity to work. Gravity also removes the Flying type from key targets such as Crobat and Yveltal, although this move combo pairs pretty well with Groudon's Precipice Blades to smack the fallen Flying-types. Groudon also bolsters the power of Fusion Flare in the last slot, making it more able to take down Bronzong or Ferrothorn EV'd to take weaker Fire attacks. Flash Cannon is also usable to deal over 50% to Xerneas before it gets the opportunity to Geomancy, which makes the finishing blow easier for Groudon. Choice Scarf is the preferred item of choice (teehee, get it?) as it allows Kyurem to deal ludicrous damage incredibly quickly, which softens enemy teams for partner Pokémon to clean up easier if Kyurem doesn't stop them outright. The only Pokémon that can reliably get Gravity up for Scarf Kyurem is Prankster Meowstic. In addition, Mental Herb (to deal with Taunt) Meowstic can support Kyurem pretty well with Fake Out, Quick Guard, Charm, Ally Switch and Helping Hand. Specs is there to deal even more damage, but the drop in speed is severely noticeable and usually leads to it getting KO'd before it can do much of anything. If you do want to use Specs, use the first EV spread and a Timid nature to still outspeed Landorus-T and the Primals and Speed tie Scarfless Tapu Lele.

- Ice Beam
- Earth Power
- Ice Burn
- Protect
Ability: Turboblaze
Item: Icium Z
Nature: Timid (-Atk, +Spe)
EVs: 252 SpA, 4 SpD, 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk

This is also an easy enough set I feel. Ice Beam and Earth Power are mandatory once again, and Protect is necessary to defend against lethal damage. The last attack is dedicated to Ice Burn for the 200 base power Subzero Slammer, which is crucial to just delete any non-resist from the game. But due to this explosive damage only being available once, it has to be guaranteed to land. Without the Choice Scarf, Kyurem is also much slower. Therefore, this set necessitates Tailwind and/or Icy Wind/Electroweb. You'll also need a better Fairy check because now, Kyurem doesn't outspeed Xerneas anymore. I personally feel that either Ho-Oh or Crobat is pretty mandatory for these reasons. Since Fairium Z Tapu Koko now outspeeds Kyurem as well, a Ground-type like Landorus-T or Gastrodon is needed. Tsareena is still a decent enough partner to handle Kyogre and block priority. This set, in my opinion, isn't as good as the Choice Scarf set.

Bad Matchups
You might have picked this up by now, but Kyurem is SUPER one-dimensional, and this leads to its rather nonexistent high placings in VGC 2019 Ultra Series. In team preview, you can expect either Choice Scarf or Icium Z and play accordingly. Tapu Koko is a great way to scout for the item it's holding, as if Electric Surge activates before Turboblaze, then it's not holding a Scarf and you can deal massive damage with Dazzling Gleam or outright OHKO it with Twinkle Tackle. If Turboblaze activates first, however, then Koko had better be switched out or you risk an Earth Power your direction. Specially bulky Dusk Mane Necrozma also gets the job done, as it's only 3HKO'd by Fusion Flare and Earth Power and OHKOs in return with Sunsteel Strike. However, less bulky variants must fear getting 2HKO'd by it, even through Prism Armor. Lunala is a great answer as it reliably takes its attacks from full health and can set up its own speed control or hit it with Menacing Moonraze Maelstrom for big damage. Max speed Timid Xerneas is a good way to scout for Scarf as well. With Fairy Aura, it OHKOs Kyurem with Moonblast, even without the Geomancy boost. Bulky Water-types, while not able to super-effectively damage Kyurem with Water attacks, can sit in front of it for a longer than comfortable time. Tapu Fini in particular can take any of its common attacks and either Icy Wind, Moonblast, or Light Screen to make Kyurem useless (the omnipresence of Fini with at least one of these attacks is a good enough reason to never see Kyurem at a tournament). Kyogre can take any of its attacks and hit back with rain-boosted Water attacks to deal at least 40% usually, despite not liking a Specs Draco Meteor. While easier said than done, recovering off the damage that Kyurem deals is a surefire way to beat it. Heal Pulse Tapu Fini, Recover Ho-Oh, and the pinch recovery berries (Figy, Wiki, etc.) are decent enough methods to ensure this happens. Snarl and Light Screen slow down Kyurem from doing much of anything, almost turning fights into 2v1 situations. Hitting faster than it is an even better way to beat Kyurem, so having Tailwind, Icy Wind/Electroweb, or Trick Room + the right attacker is usually a reliable way to OHKO Kyurem. Like I said, Kyurem is one-dimensional, and that dimension is highly susceptible to counterplay.

Hey again! I hope you enjoyed this article on Kyurem-White! Please tell me what you think about it, if I missed any important points, any sample sets you enjoy using, and any teams you are willing to share that include Kyurem-White! Also, please like, share, and follow my account for more updates! These are the four Pokémon you can vote on for the next article! From now on, I think I will keep the 2nd and 3rd most voted choices from the previous week's poll along with two new Pokémon to add to the mix! Don't worry about Muk-A however, it'll be back on the poll at a later time!

1. Pachirisu
2. Gothitelle
3. Scrafty
4. Clefairy

The poll is listed all the way at the top of the page, and will close on Thursday! That's all for now, thanks for reading and I'll see you all later!
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