Yveltal – SHF-046
Date Reviewed: February 27, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Welcome to a tardy Card of the Day from me! Yveltal (Shining Fates 046/072) both is and is not a baseline Pokémon, because it is an Amazing Rare. We know this because of its rarity symbol, and – when we get to Yveltal’s attack – there are elements common to all the other Amazing Rares, but what you won’t see is anything in the card’s name, a Rule Box, or anything else that is or could be reflected in a card’s game relevant text. Unless we start getting effects that do care about card rarity. Overall, this is probably an advantage for Yveltal, as we are in metagame dominated by multi-Prize Pokémon, but this could easily change in the future. Say if the Rapid Strike and Multi Strike mechanics being introduced in SW – Battle Styles practically become necessities.
Yveltal is a Darkness type, and that isn’t really much of a strength or a drawback at the moment. It currently isn’t useful for exploiting Weakness, but it also doesn’t have to worry about too much Resistance, with a longevity bonus being how the latter is only found naturally on Fairy Types. True TCG Fairy type Pokémon, which were only found in the XY or Sun & Moon series releases, not before and not after. The [D] type has some very good support in Expanded, and a few decent tricks in Standard, but nothing that looks like it will serve Yveltal well. At least, none that should help it significantly more than the average [D] type, and is proven. Yveltal is a Basic Pokémon, so no waiting to evolve into it, or having to run lower Stages. There are anti-Basic effects as well as Basic support, but that is true of most (if not all) Stages of evolution.
What matters more is that Basic Pokémon usually enjoy better synergy with certain effects, such as bounce. For better and worse (probably worse), Yveltal can also function as your opening Active. Yveltal has 110 HP, which is low. While not especially fragile, if a deck plans on winning through attacking for damage, it should only whiff on the OHKO due to a poor field. [L] Weakness allows more technical Lightning attackers, such as Vikavolt V, to still get an easy OHKO; something like Pikachu & Zekrom-GX already had it before Weakness. -30 [F] Resistance might save Yveltal from time to time. A Retreat Cost of [CC] is neither a disadvantage nor an advantage. It is worth remembering that Air Balloon can zero it out, however.
Yveltal knows only one attack, and like all the other Amazing Rares, it requires several different types of Energy to fuel. In this case, you need to pay [RPDCC] to use “Amazing Destruction”. Even if they were all Colorless, five is a massive Energy cost. Is there anything this attack could do to justify needing not only five Energy, but requiring three different types of Energy as well? Sure! Amazing Destruction does not manage that, but it comes close, as it KO’s your opponent’s Active. No damage, placing damage counters, or anything of the sort; the attacks effect simply states whatever your opponent has Active is Knocked Out! The only protection from this are effects that rewrite what your opponent’s attack does, or that protect against attack effects.
Why is this almost worth it? The Energy cost would be an issue even on a big, beefy Pokémon VMAX, let alone a Basic with 110 HP. Building Yveltal up slowly isn’t really an option, as it telegraphs your plans and gives your opponent plenty of time to deal with Yveltal… or even just win before it is ready. Yveltal needs Energy acceleration. The second issue is staying power; Yveltal scores OHKOs, but it is quite likely to be OHKO’d back. That means you need other attackers, or to be able to prep multiple Yveltal one after the other. Third, Yveltal needs prey worth KOing. With all the effort it will require, it is good it can OHKO anything, regardless of HP or however much time and however many resources your opponent have sunk into their Active… but if Yveltal is KO’d by a fellow single Prize Pokémon, especially one your opponent can set up with ease, Yveltal is in trouble!
There are some combos to consider. Porygon-Z (SM – Unbroken 157/214) has an Ability called “Crazy Code” that lets you break the once-per-turn Energy attachment rule, at least, with respect to Special Energy cards. Dump three Aurora Energy onto Yveltal, then any other two Standard-legal Special Energy, and you can unleash some Amazing Destruction on your opponent in a single turn! Well… a single turn after another full turn’s worth of setting up. Even if you use two Recycle Energy cards for the [C] costs, this means you’re down three other Special Energy cards. That is a Heat [R] Energy, Horror [P] Energy, and Hiding [D] Energy… or more likely, three of your four Aurora Energy.
In Expanded, we have a lot more options. Unfortunately, they’re still things that are unproven and/or likely to work better with something else even if you were to get such a deck up and running. For example, the same Porygon-Z deck can now also include Rainbow Energy and Special Charge, so that you’re not in as much trouble. What I am really waiting for is the new Bronzong that (probably) releases outside of Japan in SW – Battle Styles. It has an Ability that lets you move around [M] Energy on your side of the field, including Special Energy – like Aurora Energy – that count as all types at once. You’re still going to have to save Yveltal for a finish blow situation, but you can have your Aurora Energy in use on other, beefier Pokémon before eventually shunting enough onto a freshly Benched and promoted Yveltal. It is still far from perfect, as you may not be able to preserve a full three Aurora Energy, but at least we’re relying on a Stage 1 Metal Pokémon.
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 2/5
I was tempted to award minimum marks, but Amazing Destruction really is impressive if you can just solve the problem of paying for it without wrecking your deck’s resources, or being painfully slow about it. At the very least, Yveltal is a card worth experimenting with.
We have another Amazing Rare card to review, this time being Yveltal from Shining Fates!
It’s only attack – called Amazing Destruction – costs a whopping FIVE energies, with at least THREE different basic energy types just like the other Amazing Rare cards! And what do you get when you have five energy attached to it?
It instantly Knocks Out that Pokémon!!!
Unfortunately this is NOT worth the effort for that atrocious attack cost. As much as I like to get rid of something from the Active Spot, there’s always backup from Benched Pokemon waiting to step in and return fire against Yveltal’s 110 HP, easily OHKOing it and sending five energies in the discard pile as well. It is possible for this attack to be readied in one turn by using Ho-Oh/Golduck BREAK combo as well as a manual DCE attachment, but that’s asking for too much.
Yveltal might be pretty satisfying to use…but the investment needed is way too much. Most competitive decks won’t worry too much about Yveltal, sadly.
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