Yveltal and its Place in the Meta

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Yveltal will be taking over Raids in Pokemon GO from May 18th until June 1st. While Xerneas wasn’t all too impressive with Tackle and Zen Headbutt, Yveltal is debuting with some actually useful moves. This has trainers wondering just how good Yveltal is going to be in both Raids and PvP. The article below details the best counters to the Yveltal Raid and highlights its use in both the Raid and PvP Metas.

Yvetal Basics

Yveltal has a catch CP range of 2073-2160, and 2591-2701 under Windy and Foggy weather. 

Yveltal is a Dark + Flying dual type Pokemon. This gives Yveltal weaknesses to Electric, Rock, Ice, and Fairy-type attacks. The Flying sub-type removes Dark-type’s weaknesses to Fighting and Bug-type attacks, so you’ll want to keep the Machamp squad at home for this one. 

Yveltal’s movepool consists of Snarl, Sucker Punch, Gust, Dark Pulse, Hurricane, Focus Blast, Psychic, and Hyper Beam. Rock-type Pokemon should have an easy time against all of these attacks aside from Focus Blast, so it could pay to have non-Focus Blast and Focus Blast Raid Parties set up. Setting up teams ahead of time is a good idea in general so you can avoid sending Psychic-type Pokemon in to fight this Dark-type Pokemon. 

Yveltal can be defeated relatively easily by three Trainers. The duo is achievable, but can be difficult without Shadow Pokemon or a weather boost. 

Yveltal Counters

Given Yveltal’s weaknesses to Electric and Rock-type attacks, the best counters to the Yveltal Raid are Rock Wrecker* Rhyperior, Zekrom, Shadow Raikou, and Shadow Thunder Shock* Zapdos. Shadow Magnezone, Shadow Charge Beam Zapdos, Shadow Electivire, Shadow Mamoswine, and Thundurus Therian Forme are all formidable options too. All the aforementioned Pokemon can contribute well to a duo attempt at level 40 aside from Rhyperior. Rhyperior can still aid a Duo as an “almost good enough DPS” tank option to help avoid lobbying. 

If it’s Partly Cloudy outside, Rampardos, Terrakion, Rhyperior, Smack Down* Tyranitar, and Shadow Smack Down* Tyranitar rise up in value, most of which reaching Duo Tier DPS. As with Rhyperior outside of Partly Cloudy weather, Smack Down* Tyanitar serves as an “almost good enough DPS” tank option, resisting all of Yveltal’s attacks aside from Focus Blast. Similarly, if it’s Raining outside, Raikou, Zapdos, Electivire, and Magnezone rise up heavily in value. Outside of weather bonuses, all of the aforementioned Pokemon are solid counters to the Yveltal Raid. 

If you’re out of options and don’t know what to bring, most Electric, Rock, Ice, and Fairy-type Pokemon are reliable. 

Mega Manectric vs Mega Ampharos

The Mega of choice for the Yveltal Raid is going to come down to the amount of allies you have and if your teammates are bringing their own Megas or not. In very small and/or coordinated groups, Mega Manectric will be the best option due to its high personal damage. In less coordinated groups or random groups, Mega Ampharos may be better due to its longer survival time, boosting your teammates for a longer period of time. In general, use Mega Manectric for the Duo, use whichever one you have built for the Trio and beyond, and, if you have both built, Mega Ampharos will be marginally better for most 3+ groups. 

The graph above assumes you’re the sole Mega user in the Yveltal Raid. Against most movesets, at the same level of investment, Mega Ampharos survives 6-8 seconds longer than Mega Manectric. So while Mega Ampharos has ~3 lower personal DPS compared to Manectric, the extra damage it enables to your allies in the Raid for that 6-8 seconds often makes the difference. Keep in mind that the difference between 26.63 and 26.78 DPS is quite small in practice, so it’s not worth splitting hairs over, but if you thought Mega Ampharos was bad, welcome to the Mega Support Meta. 

If you’d like more food for thought on this topic, check out this article on The Role of Supportive Mega Evolutions in Raids.


Breakpoints Weather Breakpoints Bulkpoints
Rhyperior, Smack Down 30, 36, 43 30, 35, 40.5 34, 36, 39, 43
Zekrom, Charge Beam 28.5, 37.5 27.5, 33.5
Thundurus-T, Volt Switch 28.5, 34.5, 41 29, 33, 37.5, 43
Mega Manectric, Charge Beam 26.5, 32.5 29.5, 38 35, 38
Mega Ampharos, Volt Switch 30, 35, 41.5 33, 38, 43.5 34.5, 39
Rampardos, Smack Down 34, 39 30, 34, 38.5, 43 34.5, 40.5

Yveltal is very ok as both a Dark and Flying-type Pokemon in Raids. As a Dark-type, Yveltal is only second to Darkrai in overall performance (aside from Shadow and Mega Pokemon). However, given that Ghost-type attackers have the exact same coverage as Dark-types, Yveltal also sits behind Giratina Origin Forme, Chandelure, and Gengar in performance. Despite this set back, Yveltal’s resistances to Psychic and Ghost-type attacks can give it the advantage over the Ghost-types in some specific Raids. 

As a Flying-type, Yveltal is arguably the most reasonable, non-Shadow, non-Mega, non-Legacy option. Given that its future signature attack, Oblivion Wing, is a Flying-type attack, it may make more sense to hold out on powering up an Yveltal until Oblivion Wing’s release as it will likely be an event exclusive attack. As it stands, the Hurricane moveset’s performance isn’t that much more impressive than Starraptor and Honchkrow.

Use in PvP

Ultra League

In the Ultra League, Yveltal is an interesting cross between Mandibuzz and Obstagoon. Both are generally better than Yveltal is at their respective roles, but if your team calls for a Mandibuzz with Fighting-type coverage or an Obstagoon with Flying-type resistances, Yveltal fits the bill. The main drawback to Yveltal is that it has no effective options to fight back against Fairy-type Pokemon and is generally too fragile against neutral threats. Overall, Yveltal isn’t a bad option and can operate well in its niche, but it definitely has its hang ups compared to other Dark-types. 

Master League Classic

In the Master League, Yveltal is what Darkrai wishes it was- actually good. Like Darkrai, Yveltal has Snarl and Dark Pulse to spam down Ghost and Psychic-type Pokemon, completely dominating both Giratina Formes and Mewtwo. Unlike Darkrai, Yveltal has enough bulk to actually reach the Focus Blast against Dialga in the 1 shield scenario, and also carries enough bulk to be effective in most neutral matchups in general. Being a Flying-type also helps too in a meta where Groudon is an ever present threat to most grounded Pokemon. 

The main problems Yveltal has are heavy Fast Move damage Pokemon with early Charge Moves (Kyogre, Dragonite, Palkia), Fighting-types, and the bane of its existence, Togekiss. Most of these matchups can be overcome with a shield or energy advantage. If anything else, the Dark Pulse spam often allows Yveltal to leave the opponent in the red and without energy for the next Pokemon you bring in. It’s only when Togekiss catches it that you’re in trouble. Perhaps the future Oblivion Wing can help out with the Togekiss matchup? 

Master League XL

Yveltal generally underperperfoms in the “unlimited” level 50/XL Master League. This is because all the Giratina, Mewtwo, and Groundon it dominates aren’t really here. Instead, Yveltal has even more Dragonite, Machamp, Togekiss, and Melmetal to put up with. Until Pokemon GO gives old Legendary Pokemon an easier way to get XL Candy, it may be a while before the meta develops to Yveltal’s advantage. When that time comes though, Yveltal will likely be even better than it is in the Master League Classic, as the extra HP will enable it to reach more Dark Pulses and give it more flexibility against Dialga.


Yveltal is definitely more interesting than Xerneas was on release, as it has a movepool that makes it worthwhile in both Raids and PvP. That said, like Xerneas, Yveltal still feels incomplete. Without its signature move Oblivion Wing, Yveltal feels diluted as a Flying-type Raid attacker and doesn’t have any decent alternative moves in PvP to help it out against Fairy-types. Overall, Yveltal is a Pokemon worth powering up now, especially for Master League Classic, but you may want to save your Stardust and Candy for when it gets Oblivion Wing.

With both Xerneas and Yveltal out of the way, the question is “what’s next in Pokemon GO?” Are we finally going to get the Black and White versions of Kyurem? Is it time for Zygarde? Or are we going to get another series of re-runs? Only time will tell.

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