Sync Spotlight/Should You Pull?: Lysandre & Yveltal

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TL;DR: Should You Pull?

What Does It Do?

Lysandre and Yveltal have a bit of an identity crisis, as they’re a damage-dealing sync pair that wants to be a tank. Right off the bat, players will notice that this sync pair has an outright enviable base kit when it comes to healing and regeneration. Auto-regen with Healthy Healing when entering the battle at full HP, massive recovery potential in Oblivion Wing (up to 50% of their max HP per use), and Recuperation 1 to heal on sync move usage are all staggeringly strong recovery options when put together that literally any tank in the game would be absolutely ecstatic to have. However, Lysandre & Yveltal’s recovery effects write a check that their paper-thin defenses just can’t cash. While not as frail as sync pairs like Lusamine & Pheromosa, they really can’t take many hits. In fact, even their trainer move’s Defense and Special Defense drops, which are largely considered to be water under the bridge for other strikers like Sygna Suit Red & Charizard, are actually very threatening to Lysandre & Yveltal. One of their key Sync Grid nodes, Healthy Buffer 5, can help this greatly thanks to its ability to greatly reduce damage taken then Yveltal’s HP is full, but this requires ⅗ to unlock. They do have a very high HP stat, but that can only carry them so far when every solid attack takes out a large chunk of health. In short, Lysandre & Yveltal should generally not be used as a tank. The main area where Lysandre & Yveltal’s recovery options truly shine is in the case of AoE-heavy fights or battles of attrition. While sync pairs like the previously mentioned Lusamine & Pheromosa have to fear powerful moves like Earthquake or Sync Moves that can bypass the team’s designated tank, Lysandre & Yveltal are just bulky enough to not have to worry about taking a one-hit KO most of the time, and they are likely to heal up a solid chunk of HP before taking their next big hit. However, even this comes with a drawback when you realize that their damage is good, but not outstanding, meaning they’re likely to draw out fights more than strikers that directly compete with them like Blue & Pidgeot or Karen & Houndoom. So are Lysandre & Yveltal bad? Absolutely not. They can be very effective if played to their strengths. They have solid damage output that is higher at the start of the battle when compared to their competition, and they can switch between Flying and Dark Type damage very effectively. 

So where should our wannabe world-destroyers be used? Well, their plethora of recovery options make them work extremely well in the Battle Villa, where they can use their regenerative skills to stay healthy through stage after stage if put behind a solid tank. They’re made for battles of attrition, and the Battle Villa is the premier battle of attrition that’s currently in Pokemon Masters. They’re also decent in Full Force Battles for much the same reason, where they can roll through multiple waves while staying healthy. They’re also decent in the Champion’s Stadium, but they have two very real asterisks on this front:

  • The stage really should be weak to Flying to max out Oblivion Wing healing or Dark to lean on Dark Pulse’s grid-enhanced flinch odds
  • Lysandre & Yveltal should be able to survive at least 1-2 AoE attacks/sync moves without being KOed

This limits the player’s ability to take power-increasing options in Master Mode, and also makes it so that the Half Healing effect is absolutely off of the table. So yes, they are worthy picks in the Champion’s Stadium, but only if played to their strengths.

How Do I Use It? (Grid, Lucky Skills, And Comps):

In general, Lysandre & Yveltal want to use their grid to support one of two different strategies: a Flying Type attacker or a Dark Type attacker.

Regardless of the type that you’re aiming for, the most universally useful nodes on Lysandre & Yveltal’s grid are Healthy Buffer 5, HP Advantage 2, Rejuvenate 6, X Sp.Attack MP Refresh 2, and Sharp Entry 1. These skills are a mix of defensive/offensive options that can keep Yveltal on the field and attacking for maximum damage. Arguably the most important node on Lysandre & Yveltal’s grid is Healthy Buffer 5, as it greatly reduces the damage taken when Yveltal’s HP is full. This makes it far easier to regenerate to full HP quickly. However, this all-important node does have one key flaw: it does not reduce damage taken from Sync Moves, so don’t plan on relying on it long-term. Stat Reboot 4 is worth a mention, as it can remove the costly stat drops that Lysandre & Yveltal’s trainer move bring as well as any stat drops that the opponent may inflict, but it’s also an expensive and risky tactic to aim for, as you may need to risk several huge HP drops to activate it. HP Advantage 2 is one of the only damage-boosting nodes that Lysandre & Yveltal can obtain, and while it’s worth using and chains well into their stats, the actual damage gains from it are fairly low.

If you want to use Lysandre & Yveltal for their Flying Type expertise, then the key nodes are the two Oblivion Wing Move Gauge Refresh 3 nodes, as well as any Oblivion Wing Power + nodes. This strategy not only helps to ensure that Lysandre & Yveltal can constantly use Oblivion Wing despite its high cost, it also increases its damage, which in turn increases its recovery effects. This route also leans more heavily towards most of the aforementioned universally useful nodes, making it very attractive for many situations.

As a Dark Type attacker, the key nodes are the two Dark Pulse Aggravation 1 nodes, the two Dark Pulse Move Gauge Refresh 2 nodes, and Harry 2. If you’re not healing with Oblivion Wing, then it’s paramount that you’re flinching with Dark Pulse. A Dark Type Yveltal takes more skill and support to use than a Flying Type Yveltal, as its frailty genuinely becomes an issue. Stopping the opponent from attacking and delaying sync move usage is very important, as it buys time to rack up damage and slowly recover from any damage taken with their passive recovery and an occasional use of Oblivion Wing. Worth noting is the fact that Harry 2 is a choice to help with damage, but Flinch’s fickle and temporary nature makes it a bit hard to use consistently, so it’s probably best to only use it when Lysandre & Yveltal are paired with other Flinching units.  As previously stated, It might be worth leaning into Oblivion Wing a bit for this route as well, as it can provide a bit of emergency healing where needed.

Finally, let’s talk about the node End The World! MP Refresh 2. On paper, this is a decent node to pick up for most builds. The ability to reduce the Sync Move Countdown is nice, Critical Rate support is outstanding, and the extra bars that it grants are nice for Oblivion Wing builds in particular. But is this node truly worth getting? Honestly; no. With 2 base uses, Yveltal can already enjoy a maxed critical rate and all of the other fluff that it brings. In fact, it’s possible to get max Critical Rate after 1 use if you go for Sharp Entry 1 on their grid. However, the defense drops do matter to Yveltal. But what about the -1 sync move countdown effect? Well, if attacks are queued properly, you’ll really need -3 sync move countdowns in a single sync move cycle for it to actually make a difference most of the time. And in order to do this, you’ll also have to suffer -3 defense and defense, which makes Yveltal very frail. The Stat Reboot 4 node can be used to help rectify this, but it only has one chance to activate,  it’s locked behind Dark Type moveset nodes on their grid, and simply letting Yveltal drop into range for it to activate is a risky strategy. For these reasons, it’s probably best to just skip this node, and maybe even avoid using the skill for the most part. 

Lucky skills are largely straight forward with one exception. Critical Strike 2 is the lucky skill of choice, as it helps Lysandre & Yveltal deal maximum damage and recover maximum HP if used on Oblivion Wing. However, an argument can actually be made for Vigilance as well. While this seems like an extremely odd choice for a Striker, Sure Crit AoE moves are not extremely rare, and they pose a very large threat if Yveltal doesn’t have Healthy Buffer 5 active. This skill is, admittedly, very niche and generally far less effective, but it’s worth considering in limited situations nonetheless. 

Team mate options differ a bit depending on what you’re using Lysandre & Yveltal for, but any team needs a solid tank, wants defense/special defense boosts, wants KO endurance, wants speed/gauge support, and also wants Critical Rate support so that Lysandre & Yveltal don’t have to worry about dropping their defenses with their trainer move. 

For these requirements, the usual suspects are top picks here. Sygna Suit Blue & Blastoise can provide buffs to both Defense and Special Defense, Critical Rate and move gauge/Speed support, special attack support, additional passive healing, and team KO endurance, all while tanking like no other. Sycamore & Xerneas can max Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed with a single Sync Move use, and can basically make the previously mentioned defense issues a moot point when facing Special-heavy stages.  Jasmine & Steelix  or Dawn & Torterra are outstanding when facing Physical attackers in particular, as they’re absolutely great at tanking and spreading Defense buffs. Sabrina & Alakazam can max out Critical Rate, ensure that Lysandre & Yveltal hit +6 Special Attack, can protect the whole team with Barrier, and are surprisingly solid at tanking Special attacks in particular, though not as good in this role as many others. New Years Lillie & Ribombee can max out critical rate and provide Evasion boosts, which can allow Yveltal to outright avoid damage from some AoE moves. Skyla & Swanna can provide defense/speed boosts and additional healing… the list goes on for general partners, so let’s look at partners to support specific strategies instead.

For a Yveltal that has the main role of using Oblivion Wing, the goal depends on how you want to play around their trainer move, End The World!. If you intend to use it, then your best bet is to add sync pairs that can patch up Yveltal’s lowered defenses. If you want to just leave it alone, then focus on raising Critical Rate. Regardless of which route you choose, a bit of Speed support is always appreciated to offset Oblivion Wing’s 4-bar cost. Skyla & Swanna can provide this and also increase defense at the same time. They can also provide quick recovery with Potion and use their grid-enhanced, net-zero-cost Gust to help keep the Sync Move counter ticking down. Viola & Masquerain and Mallow & Tsareena are both great at reducing the opponent’s damage output in different ways, and can help ensure that Lysandre & Yveltal stay alive through multiple sync/AoE moves. The latter can also spread enhanced Confusion to potentially stop a few attacks from landing as well. Valentines Dawn & Alcreamie are also great, as they can reduce the opponent’s attack and special defense, and also ensure that Yveltal has max Special Attack.

A Dark Type Yveltal really wants to stop the opponent from attacking altogether. And who’s the best sync pair in the game when it comes to stopping the opponent from attacking? Serena & Delphox! The power of AoE sleep can be downright broken, and when combined with Dark Pulse’s grid-enhanced Flinch odds, it could leave the opposing team struggling to do much of anything after they’ve exhausted their buffs. Plumeria & Salazzle are also great, as they can self-max their already very high Speed stat, and easily spam a one-gauge move that has high odds of flinching, poisoning, and even refunding the single bar that it took to use with her Sync Grid. Using them to target the sides while Lysandre & Yveltal beat down the center, or as redundant flinch coverage to the biggest threat on the field can put a stop to the opposing team’s advances very quickly and effectively.

Is It Worth Pulling?

Unfortunately, this isn’t a highly recommended sync pair. They’re outstanding for any battles of attrition given proper support, and can be used to turn the Battle Villa into easy-mode, but they aren’t going to see ubiquitous use on a par with sync pairs like Sygna Suit Red & Charizard. They’re great if you lack Flying and/or Dark Type strikers on your team, but you likely won’t be kicking yourself if you skip them, and may very well be kicking yourself if you spend too many gems before we know what the 1.5 year event will entail.

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