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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Yveltal

- XY BREAKthrough

Date Reviewed:
January 20, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3
Expanded: 3
Limited: 4

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Alright, NOW we're getting into some good stuff! Yveltal isn't that new to the TCG (this is the fourth card made of him, including the EX), but he's always seemed to pervade throughout the Dark decks of Standard, especially with the lack of support that we've got in Expanded. 

Now at first glance, Yveltal doesn't seem like he's gonna be that great in the Active slot. He's got a lot of promise, but he also doesn't seem to give enough. The first thing you may notice is his Ability, Fright Night, which sets him up to be a big part of the Active slot. While he's there, Fright Night lets Yveltal nullify every Pokemon Tool in play - yours and your opponent's. This is actually a really big card; sure, it keeps you from powering up Yveltal with Muscle Band or using something like Assault Vest to keep him sturdy, but it also keeps your opponent from doing the same. And one big Pokemon Tool that's seen a lot of play means Yveltal in turn ought to see a lot of play: Spirit Links. 

Yep, Yveltal can shut down any Spirit Link in play and force your opponent to get rid of Yveltal as quick as they can in order to avoid the hassle of ending their turn by the Mega Rule. What they may have a problem with, though, is that most Mega-Evolving Basics tend to have a rough time dealing that 130 HP - there's a surprisingly small number of them that can do it, though Electric-Types will have it a little easier. To compensate - or rather, to capitalize on his newfound bulk against these guys - Yveltal also has Pitch-Black Spear, which does 3-for-60 at first - which can 3HKO most any Pokemon-EX in the game...which is alright, but then you see the second part where its effect can deal ANOTHER 60 damage to a Benched EX! 

In other words: Yveltal is the Dark deck's answer to Mega Evolution. 

It's simple to play: start with Yveltal in the Active slot, stopping their Spirit Links from going off, and then just gradually power him up. Combine this with the Hammer cards to knock off your opponent's Energy and slow them down, and then just let Yveltal thrust his Pitch-Black Spear at them until they're weakened - or worse, KO'd!

Rating 

Standard: 3/5 (he's a great starter option and a great answer to Mega Evo decks) 

Expanded: 3/5 (while the range of decks broadens, the Dark support does as well, so things even out here) 

Limited: 4/5 (Pitch-Black Spear will go a long way here just on the 60 damage alone, never mind that the Tools are useless) 

Arora Notealus: Still love my Dark Red Bird!! 

Next Time: The dark side...and the light... *STAR WARS FANFARE*


Otaku

Time for another late review: this is going up probably no earlier than February 8, 2016 even though it was supposed to be posted nearly a month earlier.  I hate missing reviews so I wanted to take care of this gap before starting in on the next set. 

Yveltal (XY: BREAKthrough 94/162) is a Basic Darkness-Type with 130 HP, Lightning Weakness, Fighting Resistance, with a Retreat Cost of [CC], no Ancient Trait, one Ability (Fright Night) and attack (Pitch-Black Spear).  Being a Basic is the best because of time and space savings, natural synergy with many card effects, being able to function as an opening Pokémon and there are even cards that specifically benefit Basic Pokémon!  There are a few anti-Basic cards, but only a few like Silent Lab are easy to work into a variety of decks.  Being a Darkness-Type is good and less because of explicit Type support but more because they just have some great cards like Yveltal-EX, Yveltal (XY 78/146; XY: Black Star Promos XY06) and Zoroark (XY: BREAKthrough 91/162) that are mighty and often mixed in with other Types.  There are a few Darkness Weak cards like Pumpkaboo (XY: Phantom Forces 44/119) that see a lot of competitive play, but in general it isn’t a huge benefit, plus while a chunk of Psychic-Types are Darkness Weak all Fairy-Types are Darkness Resistant.  There is explicit Type support but the best is the Expanded-only Dark Patch.  There are also some cards with negative effects that specifically target Darkness-Types, but they are only worth mentioning to keep me from forgetting they exist. 

130 HP is as good as it gets for a Basic that isn’t a Pokémon-EX, and while still well within OHKO range for a lot of decks, it is at that point where the HP really starts to help and survival becomes a bit more likely.  Lightning Weakness is dangerous as there are many Lightning-Types that can use the boost, even if only as insurance.  As there are a lot of Lightning Weak Pokémon currently popular, so expect to encounter a good deal of Lightning-Types.  Any Resistance is appreciated, and while Fighting-Types are known for having multiple buffs (allowing them to more easily overwhelm Resistance) as well as effects that ignore Resistance, it still is likely to come in handy.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is high enough you will want to avoid paying it when possible but low enough that if you must, it shouldn’t be too bad: have Double Colorless Energy, will travel.  The Ability joins the family of Abilities that function only while the Pokémon is Active and shut down the effects of a particular subset of the TCG.  Fright Night causes Pokémon tools to cease functioning.  Most decks use Pokémon Tools in some capacity besides slowing down damage output, getting around tricky protective or counter effects, you also will render Spirit Link cards useless.  Pitch-Black Spear is a great name for an attack.  It costs [DCC] but only does 60 damage to the opponent’s Active, which is not good, but it also does 60 to one of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon-EX.  Terrible if your opponent doesn’t have one, but a solid return when they do. 

There are two other Yveltal to pick from, available in both Standard and Expanded play.  One is the first Yveltal we got, the aforementioned XY 78/146 (again also available as XY: Black Star Promos XY06) while the other is a different promo, XY: Black Star Promos XY32.  Both have identical attributes to today’s version, but the effects are different: still no Ancient Traits, but two attacks and no Abilities.  XY 78/146 has the attack “Oblivion Wing” to hit for 30 while attaching a [D] Energy from your discard pile to one of your Benched Pokémon, as well as the attack “Darkness Blade” that costs [DDC] and hits for 100 damage, but requires a coin flip.  The attack works whether it is “heads” or “tails”, but “tails” means this Pokémon can’t attack the next turn.  XY: Black Star Promos XY32 needs [DCC] for its first attack (Air Crash) which does 50 damage, plus gives you a coin flip: “heads” discards an Energy attached to your opponent’s Active, “tails” means you just do the 50 damage with no additional effect.  For [DDCC] you can use “Wings of Destruction” to hit for 80 damage; if your opponent has Xerneas or Xerneas-EX in play, the attack does an additional 40 damage.  XY 78/146 is the main Yveltal a player runs due to its very good attacks and attributes; it was reviewed here as the fifth best card of the initial XY set.  XY: Black Star Promos XY32 never got a review because it is a bad card and I guess no one felt like using it even for filler.  Both attacks are horribly overpriced or underpowered (probably a bit of both). 

Just because the original Yveltal is so good doesn’t mean XY: BREAKthrough 94/162 shouldn’t see play.  In fact it may help it: as long as you can spare a slot, you can probably run a single copy to take advantage of Fright Night and Pitch-Black Spear as most decks won’t need more than three of the oldest Yveltal, be it Expanded or Standard play.  A few decks that focus on hit-and-run tactics may use XY: BREAKthrough 94/162 on its own for the Ability, but I don’t think Fright night is as potent as say Wobbuffet (XY: Phantom Forces 36/119) and its Bide Barricade.  For Limited play I’d take and run this Yveltal: there are a few Pokémon Tools to disrupt (beyond just Spirit Link cards) but the main thing is being a buff 130 HP Basic.  You can’t make this the center of your deck but even though most of the time you’ll just be doing the base 60 damage with Pitch-Black Spear, here that should be enough. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 3/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Summary: Another way for certain decks to deal with Pokémon Tools, and some of the newest releases make me glad for it.  I had this as my twelfth place pick on my personal Top 15 list for XY: BREAKthrough, which allowed it to be the 15th place pick for the overall list.  Since we only did a Top 10, that is why it wasn’t reviewed promptly.  In terms of voting points, it only had four and thus missed making the Top 10 by a sizable margin.  Checking the Masters Division results of the City Championships over on The Charizard Lounge there actually is a deck that used this version enough to warrant including it in the brief description, and it managed a Top 3 finish, so this is definitely a card to look out for, especially if you’ve got a Pokémon Tool reliant build.


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