The Yveltal Warrior — Team Report from Kazuki Kobayashi, Semi Finalist at the 2019 World Championships

Hi everyone, my name is Kazuki Kobayashi, also known as Buraari. In this article, I will be showcasing the team I used at Worlds 2019, where I placed 4th after qualifying from Day 1 with a 7-2 record.

My records for the event were as follows:

  • Day 1: 7-2 Swiss, qualified for day 2
  • Day 2: 5-2 Swiss, qualified for top cut
  • Top Cut: 3-1, lost in Semi Finals, 4th overall

salamence-mega Team Building Process​

After Japan Nationals, I got bored of using RayOgre, so I tested out various teams and archetypesI felt none of them suited me, so I went back to YvelDon, which I had been using since Sun Series. This was my first 6, with a Gengar-based YvelDon core:

groudon-primalyveltalgengar-mega tapu-finiincineroarlandorus-therian
The team aims to support Max HP/SpDef Gengar via Intimidate while allowing Groudon to sweep either under Trick Room or after using Icy Wind. Although the team was able to counter opposing XernDon, which Yveltal teams use to struggle against, I gave up on these six after realizing how strong Rayquaza teams were against it, especially considering their huge damage output. With Gengar as my mega, I couldn’t think of an answer to opposing Landorus either, which was popular back then, and the 50/50s between Banded/SD Ray were painful, too.

As I gave up on Gengar, I searched for other megas and cores that could fit YvelDon. After looking at Ryusei Yamane’s Tapunium Z + Bullet Punch Metagross team, which got Top 8 at Japan Nationals, I noticed how versatile and powerful they were against non-Xerneas teams, so I began testing it. In regards to using Metagross as my mega, I wasn’t concerned about its strength since my two friends Marshmallow and Sepal have been using it.  

When thinking about the other 2 slots, Incineroar was a must in order for YvelDon to function. For the final slot, I noticed how the only speed control against Xerneas I had was Tapu Fini’s Icy Wind, so I wanted Trick Room to counter Geomancy. Thus I chose Stakataka, which I have been using since Sun series as well.

With these 6, I didn’t have anything that could easily take Water Spout + Dragon Ascent from RayOgre teams, and I noticed how I was forced to play passively from the start, just like happened with my Gengar version. In order to threaten the two Pokémon above from the beginning, I replaced Tapu Fini with Tapu Koko. Koko’s Volt Switch allows the team to easily maneuver around during the weather war against Kyogre.

groudon-primalyveltalmetagross-mega tapu-kokoincineroarmimikyu
5 of the slots were weak to Ground, and opposing Groudon were problematic although I had counters. I was using Shuca Berry Stakataka initially, but I never brought it to those games for a number of reasons: it can’t really take a hit, then set up TR next turn; opposing Eruption were hard to deal with; and even if you do set up TR against Ray, Special Groudon Shuca Stakataka still failed to beat Ray. So I replaced Stakataka with Mimikyu in order to solve this problem.  

groudon-primalyveltalmetagross-mega tapu-kokoincineroarmimikyu
I settled down with these 6 quite early. I was still unsure about the Mimikyu slot, so I tried to look for replacements, but couldn’t think of anything better than Mimikyu. When testing out the team, I began to understand how late game Trick Room was very effective against X-Ray and Tailwind teams with Crobat/Tornadus (which is obvious)Against Kyogre teams, even with Trick Room (in fact, with every speed control option), you have to pivot around with Groudon to take the weather advantage, so I noticed how disadvantageous it was to waste turns.

Although it’s hard to determine when to bring each one, I noticed how strong the team’s two major gameplans were, especially on a best of three setting: 

  1. Pivot around with Koko/Incineroar.
  2. Wreak havoc with Koko/Metagross, then finish opponents off with Groudon under Trick Room in the late game.  

salamence-mega The Team

▶️ Get the importable version of the team here!

Yveltal Victory Road
Yveltal @ Aguav Berry  
Ability: Dark Aura   
Level: 50   
EVs: 172 HP / 84 SpD / 252 Spe   
Timid Nature   
– Foul Play   
– Sucker Punch   
– Snarl   
– Protect 

Spread benchmarks:

  • Speed: hit max speed
  • Sp. Def: SpD: 252+ SpA Kyogre-Primal Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 172 HP / 84 SpD Yveltal in Heavy Rain: 187-222 (83.8 – 99.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO 

Max speed was necessary for Yveltal to always move before Lunala. I didn’t think firepower was necessary for both Snarl and Sucker Punch, so I invested the rest of the EVs towards its bulk, so it can at least switch into Kyogre’s attacks.

Since I used Snarl the most out of the attacking moves, I gave it a Timid nature. Although Yveltal’s chances of surviving a Moonblast from 252 Timid Xerneas are over 50%, I never bring it against Xerneas teams.  

A pinch berry made Yveltal stronger in exchanging blows with opposing Pokémon, especially during Yveltal mirrors, when the match often comes down to whose Yveltal gets put in range of being KO’d from Incineroar’s Flare Blitz first. Though I considered Z-move (which would require SpA investment), Dark Pulse simply lacks firepower. Moreover, there aren’t any oppoonents I would want to use Dark Pulse against, either.  

In regards of Tailwind, even if I set it up with Yveltal, that often lead to the following sequence of moves: Opposing Incineroar comes in → I switch out Yveltal for my Incineroar → They U-turn. Therefore, I wasn’t able to make full use of it, which is why I eventually scrapped it. Sucker Punch instead was very valuable to the extent it allowed me to take a set by itself.

Groudon-Primal Victory Road
Groudon-Primal @ Red Orb
Ability: Desolate Land
Level: 50
EVs: 108 HP / 4 Def / 236 SpA / 116 SpD / 44 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Earth Power
– Eruption
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Protect

Spread benchmarks:

  • SpA: almost fully invested
  • SpD: 252 SpA Groudon-Primal Earth Power vs. 108 HP / 116 SpD Groudon-Primal: 164-194 (86.7 – 102.6%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO 
  • Speed: this range allows me to win most Groudon mirrors if they are not invested in Speed

Significant SpA investment was necessary in order for Groudon to KO most opposing Groudon. I did not want to decrease Eruption’s firepower either because its role is to deal as much chip damage as possible. 

I wanted my Groudon to be able to move before opposing non-max speed Groudon, but I also wanted to invest into its bulk too. After some extensive research on how others built their Groudon, 36 speed EVs were slightly popular, so I gave 44 EVs to my Groudon to outspeed them. In all seriousness, I was able to outspeed a lot of opposing Groudon, so this adjustment was perfect.  

I wanted Groudon to survive Earth Power with the remaining EVs, but decreasing its HP would make me further weaker to Precipice Blades, and would put me in a disadvantageous position during a pivoting war, so I settled down with a 12.5% chance of getting OHKO’d.   

Finally, I had trouble deciding whether to use Hidden Power Ice or Overheat, but considering how none of my slots were able to KO Salamence efficiently, and I wanted coverage against Rayquaza, I chose HP Ice. It still does roughly around 50% even under Strong Winds and if I fire it after Rayquaza Ascents, it deals quite a bit of damage, so if you combine it with Koko’s Nature’s Madness or Metagross’s Iron Head, it is strong enough to knock them out. 

Metagross-Mega Victory Road
Metagross @ Metagrossite
Ability: Clear Body
Level: 50
EVs: 156 HP / 132 Atk / 220 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Bullet Punch
– Iron Head
– Stomping Tantrum
– Protect

Spread benchmarks:

  • Speed: outspeeds max speed Landorus-Therian
  • HP: -1 252+ Atk Incineroar Malicious Moonsault vs. 156 HP / 0 Def Metagross-Mega: 146-174 (83.4 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • Atk:
    • 132+ Atk Tough Claws Metagross-Mega Stomping Tantrum vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Kyogre: 52-62 (25.1 – 29.9%) — guaranteed 4HKO
    • 132+ Atk Tough Claws Metagross-Mega Iron Head vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Xerneas: 204-242 (100.9 – 119.8%) — guaranteed OHKO
    • 132+ Atk Tough Claws Metagross-Mega Bullet Punch vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Xerneas: 102-122 (50.4 – 60.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Since I had Yveltal on the team, Metagross didn’t need to outspeed Lunala, so I made it slightly slower. However, its pre-mega speed was faster than my Groudon, and this was a bit problematic because when Metagross was next to Groudon, I couldn’t deal with Amoonguss + Groudon on the field. Aside from that, I didn’t want to make the following speed sequence for my Pokémon: Metagross (158) > Mimikyu (117) > Groudon (114).

I invested the remaining EVs towards HP and Atk but I couldn’t find a suitable benchmark for its bulk, so the HP adjustment was questionable. Maybe I should’ve invested more into Atk, as there were many situations where Iron Head barely did 50% towards Tau Fini or bulky Rayquaza, and twp Bullet Punches became a roll against bulky Xerneas, too. Although this is simply from my natural instinct, I felt the defensive benchmark was just about right, so I kept it the way it is.

Since the team has moves that can deal great damage, Metagross synergized perfectly with it, especially with Tapu Koko’s Nature’s Madness, which allows me to KO opponents without activating their berries.

Tapu-Koko Victory Road
Tapu Koko @ Tapunium Z   
Ability: Electric Surge   
Level: 50   
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe   
Timid Nature   
IVs: 0 Atk   
– Electroweb   
– Nature’s Madness   
– Volt Switch   
– Protect  

Spread benchmarks:

  • Speed: Max speed was necessary for Koko to move before Ultra-Necrozma and to use Volt Switch against Crobat/Gengar.
  •  HP:
    • -1 252+ Atk Groudon-Primal Precipice Blades vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Tapu Koko: 164-194 (92.6 – 109.6%) — 50% chance to OHKO 
    • 0+ SpA Kyogre-Primal Origin Pulse vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Tapu Koko in Heavy Rain: 160-189 (90.3 – 106.7%) — 43.8% chance to OHKO (doesn’t survive from Max SpA Kyogre) 
    • 0 SpA Rayquaza-Mega Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Tapu Koko: 142-168 (80.2 – 94.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO 

Being able to survive Rayquaza’s Earth Power was huge, as it prevented me from getting into a disadvantageous situation in terms of Pokémon count, something you always want to consider during a pivoting war.

Tapunium Z covers up for its lack of firepower. I can use it while doubling up into many common targets for a clean KO: against Groudon with Metagross’ Stomping Tantrum, against Xerneas to put it into Bullet Punch range… It’s also great at dealing significant damage to opposing Groudon switching in predicting an Electrium Z into their slot. I guess the strongest point of this move is its 100% accuracy, though.

Electroweb is used against opposing Tapu Koko, so Metagross can threaten them the following turn with Stomping Tantrum, and used with Snarl to deal chip damage. If I land it on Rayquaza, Foul Play threatens it. Finally, I can also KO Tapu Fini without activating its berry with Nature’s Madness + Electroweb + Iron Head.

Mimikyu Victory Road
Mimikyu @ Mimikium Z
Ability: Disguise
Level: 50
EVs: 236 HP / 76 Atk / 132 Def / 60 SpD / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Play Rough
– Shadow Sneak
– Taunt
– Trick Room

Spread benchmarks:

  • Def: 252+ Atk Rayquaza Dragon Ascent vs. 236 HP / 132 Def Mimikyu: 129-153 (80.6 – 95.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • SpD:
    • 252+ SpA Kyogre-Primal Origin Pulse vs. 236 HP / 60 SpD Mimikyu in Heavy Rain: 133-157 (83.1 – 98.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO
    • +2 252+ SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Dazzling Gleam vs. 236 HP / 60 SpD Mimikyu: 135-159 (84.3 – 99.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • Atk: leftover EVs

The defensive benchmarks were necessary, as its main role is to set up TR against boosted Xerneas. Focus Sash was not needed since Yveltal checked the likes of Solgaleo/Lunala, and since I wanted to exert pressure under TR, the Z-crystal became essential. However, Mental Herb may have been an option too due to the rise of Kangaskhan/Tornadus teams, although I rarely faced them at Worlds.

In regards to the Taunt slot, I tested various moves ranging from Protect to Swords Dance, but Protect felt unnecessary for Mimikyu to do its job, and even after a Swords Dance, it still lacked the damage output to OHKO Xerneas, so I taught it Taunt in order to have better matchups against Amoonguss. Aside from Amoonguss, Taunt allowed me to deal with gimmicks and TR stalling plays from opponents such as Incinearoar + Xerneas’ Protect→ Fake Out + Moonblast →Protect.

Incineroar Victory Road
Incineroar @ Assault Vest
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 164 Atk / 92 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Flare Blitz
– Knock Off
– Fake Out
– U-turn

Spread benchmarks:

  • SpD: 4+ SpA Kyogre-Primal Origin Pulse vs. 252 HP / 92 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar in Heavy Rain: 168-200 (83.1 – 99%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Same spread as the Incineroar I’ve been using since Sun/Moon series. Although I was testing it with Snarl right before the tournament, I felt Knock Off would give me better momentum during Yveltal mirrors, so I changed it right away. Since my Tapu Koko wasn’t the Electrium Z variant, getting rid of opposing Tapu Fini was difficult so removing its berry was advantageous for me.

Consequently, Knock Off also allowed me to deal with Lunala much faster, remove Rayquaza’s berry, and deal chip damage to Kyogre, so having Assault Vest made the Atk investment worthwhile. Moreover, decreasing Kyogre’s Water Spout damage with Knock Off rather than using Snarl to lower its SpA was much more efficient.

I’ve been told this by someone, but maybe I should consider Incineroar’s role within a YvelDon team to be constantly dealing chip, due to its firepower boosted by both Yveltal’s Dark Aura and Incineroar’s Harsh Sunlight.

salamence-mega War story: Day 1

Round 1 vs CAN Daravone Souphommanychanh | WW (1-0)

1tapu-kokometagross-megagroudon-primalincineroar vs xerneassmearglelunalaincineroar
2tapu-kokometagross-megagroudon-primalincineroar vs xerneassmearglelunalaunown

This was rather a hard matchup because of how Metagross, my main Xerneas counter, was slower than Lunala and Yveltal, and also didn’t exert much pressure towards my opponents other slots.

  • Game 1: he went for Fake Out + Geomancy while I went for Volt Switch and switched Metagross into Groudon, and after I dealt some chip to his Xerneas with EruptonMetagross finished it off with Bullet Punch.
  • Game 2: he started by using Follow me + Geomancy, then positioned himself with his Lunala next to Xerneas. I thought I was screwed when he set up Tailwind after I protected my Metagross, but an Eearth Power crit eliminated his Xerneas, and I was able to sweep from there.  

Round 2 vs USA Nicholas Borghi | WW (2-0)

1tapu-kokometagross-megagroudon-primalmimikyu vs xerneasamoongusskyogre-primalincineroar
2tapu-kokometagross-megagroudon-primalmimikyu vs xerneasamoongusskyogre-primalkangaskhan-mega

An unique team, where the infamous XernDon Tornadus team’s Groudon slot is replaced by KyogreMetagross was very good in this matchup, and nothing on his team really threatened it under the harsh sunlight.

  • I was able to win game 1 by reading his Xerneas’ Protect and taunting into his Amoonguss switch-in.
  • In game 2, Metagross survived a Dazzling Gleam + Crunch double-up, and I won from there.  

Round 3 vs JPN Takuro Suefuji | WLW (3-0)