QC: Catalystic / PurpleGatorade / Chloe
GP: lotiasite / The Dutch Plumberjack
With a good offensive and defensive typing and an extensive movepool, Yveltal is a premier threat in the Anything Goes metagame. A decent base 99 Speed stat allows Yveltal to outspeed the cramped base 90 Speed tier and more, notably getting the jump on Primal Groudon, Primal Kyogre, bulky Arceus formes, and Zygarde, while also Speed tying with Xerneas. Its other stats are also very well-rounded, allowing it to run a plethora of sets, with good offenses in conjunction with Dark Aura and reasonable defenses allowing it to run defensive sets. Its ability to viably utilize a multitude of sets allows it a degree of unpredictability and forces opponents to proceed with caution. Its STAB combination allows it to beat a large number of Pokemon, like Marshadow, Lunala, and Necrozma-DM. However, Yveltal has a weakness to Stealth Rock, the most common entry hazard in the metagame, meaning that it can be worn down quickly, as well as further weaknesses to Rock and Fairy, which are common offensive types. Its unfavorable matchup against popular picks such as Arceus-Fairy and Arceus-Rock means that it will require some team support. Base 99 Speed, while decent, is not enough to outrun some of the biggest threats of the metagame, including Ultra Necrozma, Mega Gengar, Marshadow, and Mega Rayquaza, which means that Yveltal will require a Choice Scarf to outpace these Pokemon. Yveltal is also setup fodder for many Calm Mind Arceus formes and other Pokemon like Xerneas when not using Taunt.
name: Life Orb
move 1: Dark Pulse
move 2: Oblivion Wing
move 3: Taunt / Knock Off
move 4: Sucker Punch / Knock Off
item: Life Orb
ability: Dark Aura
nature: Rash / Naive
evs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Dark Pulse is Yveltal's most powerful move, as it is boosted by Dark Aura, STAB, and Life Orb. Oblivion Wing hits almost everything that resists Dark Pulse neutrally, with the added benefit of providing a form of recovery to combat Life Orb recoil. Taunt is used to shut down defensive Pokemon attempting to status Yveltal or heal. It is preferred over Knock Off, as many of the Pokemon in the metagame hold non-removable items. Knock Off can still be used to remove the items of many defensive Pokemon, most notably Chansey's Eviolite. It also removes Mega Rayquaza's item and allows Yveltal to 2HKO offensive Ho-Oh. Sucker Punch gives Yveltal a form of priority, allowing it to finish off foes such as Ultra Necrozma, Marshadow, and Mega Gengar.
Maximum Special Attack and Speed investment allows Yveltal to hit as hard as possible and outpace base 90 Speed Pokemon and Zygarde. A Rash or Naive nature is chosen to preserve Yveltal's attack if using Knock Off or Sucker Punch. Rash provides a decent Special Attack boost, while Naive allows it to outspeed as much as possible and Speed tie with Xerneas. Life Orb provides a consistent boost to all of Yveltal's attacks at the cost of 10% of its health per attack. Dark Aura provides Yveltal with a moderately large boost to its Dark-type moves. Be aware that Dark-type moves like Arceus-Dark's Judgment and Tyranitar's Pursuit will also do more damage to Yveltal.
Yveltal's primary role is as a wallbreaker that can rip apart defensive cores that rely on status moves. It can also be a good revenge killer if utilizing Sucker Punch. Be advised that your opponent may attempt to predict that you will use Sucker Punch and use a status move. Do not carelessly use the move, and note that Taunt can help ease predictions with it. It is best not to switch Yveltal into powerful attacks, as this will leave it severely crippled and potentially only able to fire off a last few moves due to Life Orb recoil. If there is an opposing defensive threat that Yveltal is needed to break such as Lugia or Giratina, be sure to preserve it and keep it free of status.
Primal Groudon and Necrozma-DM are both great partners, as they can take on Fairy- and Rock-types and appreciate Yveltal's ability to switch into Ground-type attacks. Due to Yveltal's weakness to Stealth Rock, entry hazard removers are essential to preserve its health. A good partner is Arceus-Poison, as it can take on Fairy-types such as Xerneas and act as a secondary check to Marshadow. Yveltal is also immune to both types that Arceus-Poison is weak to and can take on threats that are able to remove Arceus-Poison. Ho-Oh is also helpful as a Defog user, as even though it increases the Rock-type weaknesses on the team, it can help burn foes and badly poison certain Pokemon that Yveltal cannot significantly damage. It also threatens Magearna, which is one of the only viable Pokemon that resist both of Yveltal's STAB types. Hazard setters are very useful, as Yveltal can often force switches with Taunt or by virtue of its typing. Setup sweepers like Extreme Killer Arceus, Bulk Up Marshadow, Dragon Dance Mega Rayquaza, and Double Dance Necrozma-DM appreciate Yveltal's ability to break through many physically bulky Pokemon such as Lugia, Toxapex, Giratina, Mega Sableye, Skarmory, Celesteela, and Zygarde-C. In return, they can wear down Yveltal's checks. Extreme Killer Arceus and Marshadow can also help revenge kill opposing Mega Rayquaza, which heavily threatens Yveltal, and they can help beat Rock-types as well. Yveltal functions well on Sticky Web teams due to its access to Taunt as well as a decent Speed tier, which means that Smeargle and Shuckle are decent partners.
name: Choice Scarf
move 1: Dark Pulse
move 2: Oblivion Wing
move 3: Foul Play
move 4: U-turn / Toxic / Defog
item: Choice Scarf
ability: Dark Aura
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Dark Pulse and Oblivion Wing are great STAB options that are boosted by Dark Aura and heal Yveltal, respectively. Foul Play is used on this set because Choice Scarf Yveltal's lack of firepower otherwise makes it hard to KO even offensive threats, and Choice Scarf allows Yveltal to usually use Foul Play before the opponent can attack, turning their own Attack boosts and investment against them. For example, Foul Play can OHKO +2 Swords Dance Arceus-Ground and Choice Band Mega Rayquaza. U-turn allows Yveltal to pivot out of unfavorable matchups, such as against Chansey, and allows a teammate that can force the foe out and do heavy damage to come in. Toxic sets Pokemon that wall Yveltal otherwise, such as support Arceus formes, on a timer. Defog can provide entry hazard removal in a pinch.
Maximum Special Attack investment with a Modest nature gives Yveltal a decent damage output even without a boosting item. Maximum Speed investment coupled with a Choice Scarf allows Yveltal to outpace many threats, notably including Deoxys-A, Mewtwo, Ultra Necrozma, Mega Gengar, Marshadow, and all Arceus formes.
Choice Scarf Yveltal should not focus on wallbreaking, as it does not have the firepower to do so, but instead on revenge killing weakened threats or Pokemon that are weak to one of its STAB types. Paralysis cripples this set far more than any other set, as it essentially negates Yveltal's item while making it even slower and causing it to be fully paralyzed every so often, so it should be avoided unless there is no way to, or if there is a cleric on the team. Using U-turn on foes that Yveltal forces out gains momentum for the team. Think carefully before locking Yveltal into a move, as the wrong choice can cause loss of momentum and force Yveltal out. This is especially true for status moves like Toxic and Defog, as they do not offensively pressure the opponent and can result in Yveltal becoming setup fodder.
Yveltal's lack of firepower makes trappers like Mega Gengar and Gothitelle good teammates, as they are able to remove defensive Pokemon with the combination of Taunt and attacks in the case of the former or PP Stall in the case of the latter, and Yveltal is able to pivot into them and ease prediction with U-turn. Mega Gengar and Gothitelle are notably able to remove support Arceus formes that Yveltal cannot break. Hard hitters like Choice Band Mega Rayquaza and Calm Mind Primal Kyogre go well with this set, as Yveltal is able to keep faster foes in check while they are able to break walls. Mixed Rock Polish Primal Groudon and Swords Dance Necrozma-DM can also take on Pokemon that threaten Yveltal. In return, Yveltal is able to provide U-turn support for them, which often allows them a free turn. Be aware that if using Mega Rayquaza, you are increasing Fairy- and Ice-type weaknesses on the team, as well as stacking a weakness to Stealth Rock. Cleric support from the likes of Aromatherapy Xerneas is greatly appreciated, as the lessened damage output from Oblivion Wing means that Yveltal is not able to heal as much, and removing paralysis is necessary for Yveltal to function as a revenge killer. Entry hazard removal is greatly appreciated, as Yveltal will fall to strong priority after Stealth Rock sometimes. A support Arceus forme is a good fit for this, as it will be able to take powerful hits directed at Yveltal.
name: Physically Defensive
move 1: Foul Play
move 2: Roost
move 3: Taunt / Sucker Punch
move 4: Toxic / Defog / U-turn
item: Leftovers / Charti Berry / Rocky Helmet
ability: Dark Aura
nature: Bold / Impish
evs: 248 HP / 180 Def / 80 Spe
Foul Play allows Yveltal to hit physical threats hard without the need for investment. Roost provides reliable recovery, allowing it to check threats throughout the game. Taunt helps Yveltal take on other defensive Pokemon such as Blissey and Chansey better, which otherwise wall it easily and can use Toxic on it or a teammate that Yveltal wishes to switch to. Toxic helps wear the foe down, giving Yveltal a way of dealing damage other than Foul Play. Defog provides entry hazard removal for the team, which works well with Yveltal's increased bulk from its defensive investment. Sucker Punch provides priority in a pinch; however, it is quite weak without a boosting item or Attack investment. U-turn allows a teammate a free turn against certain foes and eases prediction when pivoting.
Maximum HP investment and 180 Defense EVs with a Bold or Impish nature allow Yveltal to stomach physical hits remarkably well, notably allowing it to always tank Mega Rayquaza's Dragon Ascent and retaliate with an OHKO from Foul Play. 80 Speed EVs allow Yveltal to always outspeed Adamant Necrozma-DM. Leftovers provides passive recovery, which Yveltal greatly appreciates, as it is not always able to use Roost. Charti Berry can surprise some foes with Rock-type coverage, like Ultra Necrozma, that expect to OHKO Yveltal, only to be OHKOed in return by Foul Play. Rocky Helmet allows Yveltal to punish contact attackers, which it can make use of to chip Pokemon like Marshadow down without the need to use Toxic. An alternative EV spread of 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD can be used for more bulk at the cost of not outpacing Adamant Necrozma-DM.
Physically defensive Yveltal can switch into any physical attack weaker than Life Orb Mega Rayquaza's Dragon Ascent, taking pitiful damage from common moves like Extreme Speed from Extreme Killer Arceus. If using Rocky Helmet, it is advised to switch into weaker contact moves as much as possible, as that will result in free chip damage on the foe. Use Taunt and Toxic liberally, as that combination is Yveltal's best way to damage the foe. Taunt is especially important, as that will result in the foe being unable to status Yveltal, heal themselves, or use Refresh. Avoid being hit by Toxic at all costs, as it will cut into Yveltal's longevity and force it to use Roost in less-than-ideal situations.
As avoiding Toxic is important, cleric support is a great benefit to defensive Yveltal. Chansey is particularly good for this role, as it can take on special attackers that may trouble physically defensive Yveltal. If Yveltal is not using Defog, entry hazard removal support is important to ensure that Yveltal can consistently switch in on powerful attacks. Defensive Ho-Oh is good for this role, as it provides a Fairy-type resistance and can also help take special hits better. If Yveltal must be sacrificed, a revenge killer such as Mega Gengar can guarantee that Yveltal will not faint in vain by removing the Pokemon that knocked out Yveltal. Primal Groudon and Ferrothorn are also helpful as hazard setters and checks to Primal Kyogre and Fairy-types. Necrozma-DM and Arceus-Poison are also very helpful, as they can set hazards, check Fairy-types, and absorb Toxic.
A Choice Specs set can be used to pick up many more OHKOs and 2HKOs, notably netting a guaranteed OHKO against offensive Necrozma-DM and a 2HKO against Arceus formes that have not invested in Special Defense. It generally uses Dark Pulse, Oblivion Wing or Hurricane, U-turn, and a coverage move such as Heat Wave or Focus Blast. However, this set suffers from being locked into a move and is sometimes even setup fodder for Pokemon it can force out otherwise, such as Necrozma-DM. Metronome, while less consistent than other boosting items, helps Yveltal break walls better, as the power of its moves is multiplied to up to 2x over time. This is especially useful against defensive Arceus, which may assume that Yveltal does not have a boosting item and attempt to heal all damage with Recover. Yveltal can also utilize a Dread Plate to give its Dark-type moves a boost with no drawbacks, but it has less power than Life Orb or Choice Specs. A set with Darkinium Z or Flyinium Z allows Yveltal to catch foes by surprise, as often they do not expect Yveltal to OHKO a Pokemon from full or almost full health. However, the lack of a boosting item or a Choice Scarf afterward makes Yveltal's job much harder to do. Choice Band is an unexpected item on Yveltal that can let it blow past some of its usual checks like Chansey and Ho-Oh. However, the lack of a reliable physical Flying-type STAB move as well as Knock Off's inability to remove the items from most of the tier make this set less threatening to most foes.
Checks and Counters
**Fairy-types**: Fairy-types are able to easily come in on a Dark-type move and OHKO or almost OHKO Yveltal with their STAB attacks. Arceus-Fairy is Yveltal's worst enemy, as it can switch in on any attack and proceed to threaten it out, set or remove entry hazards, or heal itself with Recover. The other Fairy-types in the tier cannot come in safely, as most Xerneas are 2HKOed by Life Orb- or Choice Specs-boosted Oblivion Wing, and Magearna must watch out for Heat Wave.
**Dark-types**: If Yveltal is not using Taunt, Tyranitar and Arceus-Dark wall it fairly easily and can either status it or use it as setup fodder for Stealth Rock, Defog, or Calm Mind.
**Rock-types**: Rock-types, most notably Arceus-Rock, can switch in on a Flying-type attack and also hit Yveltal back hard.
**Calm Mind Arceus Formes**: Calm Mind Arceus Formes can shrug off the majority of Yveltal's attacks with Special Defense boosts and threaten it with their boosted attacks. They do not like taking Toxic, however, and are crippled by Taunt.
**Ho-Oh**: Defensive Ho-Oh can shrug off all of Yveltal's attacks with Recover and Regenerator, though it must be wary of Taunt. Offensive Ho-Oh can threaten to do heavy damage with Sacred Fire or Brave Bird, but it is 2HKOed by Knock Off.
**Chansey and Blissey**: Chansey and Blissey take hardly any damage from any special attack from any set, and can easily heal themselves with Soft-Boiled and status Yveltal with Toxic. However, they are shut down completely by Taunt and crippled by Knock Off.
**Powerful Attackers**: Pokemon like Primal Groudon, Primal Kyogre, and Mega Rayquaza are able to threaten Yveltal with an OHKO with their high Base Powered moves backed by insane attacking stats. They are all heavily crippled by Dark Pulse or Sucker Punch, though.
- Written by: [[Lavaclaw, 448301]]
- Quality checked by: [[Catalystic, 314467], [PurpleGatorade, 327652], [Chloe, 262044]]
- Grammar checked by: [[lotiasite, 302985], [The Dutch Plumberjack, 232216]]