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Marc Costa

The Dark road

After a long break for holidays I'm back for some Dark coverage briefly reviewing Yveltal/Zoroark, Yveltal/Mew and Yveltal/Garbodor. Would you like to join the Dark road?

10/18/2016 by Marc Costa

"This article is part of 60cards article competition"

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since my last article for 60Cards, but I’m back to talk about my season favorite deck: Yveltal with [insert buddy here].

Since the very first day I found Yveltal the most flexible deck in format. You can adapt the deck to your own playstyle and to the metagame in your area. You have tons of possible techs for every variant of the deck, giving you outs against almost any deck in format. In today’s article I’m going to give decklists and a little summary of every Dark deck I’ve played while also providing some personal thoughts about each one. What's more, I started the article a week before Yveltal/Garbodor won Orlando's Regional (piloted by Azul Garcia) and Essen's SPE (piloted by Steffen Eriksen), so the deck must be somehow good if great players can drive it to the top of such big tournaments. Let’s see!



As you'll see my decklists are very standard and consistent, which I always priorize. My 2016-2017 season journey started with this deck, which I got my first 12 CPs with in the late September (not played any sanctioned tournaments before this season). I have always been a huge fan of Yveltal EX, and I found in Fright Night Yveltal the ideal partner. Also, some of the worst match ups for Yveltal are Volcanion decks, Rayquaza decks and Ranbow Road decks, which usually full their benches, so that's how I ended up looking at Zoroark. Also, having the ability to Stand In + retreat all the game is huge for deck maneuverability. Finally I teched in a single Mew just for the Mewtwo EX match up (before they set up Garbodor) and the free retreat, and a pair of Parallels to disrupt the mentioned decks above after Zoroark has done its job. All together seemed to be ideal, but every deck has its weaknesses.

Yveltal has always been known for not having huge match ups along the field, and that's the case too. This version of Yveltal will usually fall against Rainbow Road decks, M Gardevoir EX decks (both versions) and Greninja decks, while also having some trouble against Volcanion and Rayquaza decks. But what makes Yveltal decks great is their consistency and variety of attackers, something I love to have.

Speaking about the decklist it's pretty much straightforward except for the Enhanced Hammer, which is huge against everything playing special energies (can be the difference in the mirror match, against Rainbow Road, against Rayquaza EX, etc), and the 2 Reverse Valley. I really like this Stadium, as it let's you throw away any undesired opponent's Parallel City in play while also helping to reach magical numbers (Y Cyclone + Fighting Fury Belt + Reverse Valley = Shaymin EX OHKO, Mind Jack + 3 opponent's benched Pokémon + Reverse Valley = Shaymin EX KO, 2 x Pitch-Black Spear + Reverse Valley = 130/140 which can KO Volcanion and Yveltal, etc). You can also try the good old Mew EX, who can copy Zoroark's attack too.

Overall, Yveltal/Zoroark would be my third choice out of the three versions you're going to see here, as it lacks good match ups, some more disrupt and sometimes struggles to preserve energies all around as most attackers are DCE dependant.



Now here we are with the second Yveltal variant. As mentioned before I won't overtech a decklist in an article when I'm doing a brief deck review, because that's what players might end up doing during their playtest. Even though, in this version I included some of the most obvious specific inclusions such as Umbreon EX and Ninja Boy. Ninja Boy is a card I'm actually in love with: it gives you a way to take away a Shaymin EX in play (same with Parallel City), it can switch attackers, it can give you free retreat if you have something stuck in the active postion if you have some Mew left in your deck, etc. Overall, Ninja Boy is a flexible card and gives you a little surprising factor that I love to have in my decks. About Umbreon EX, what can I say that you don't already know: mega-evolutions are a good part of the actual metagame, and ending a game taking the final 4 prizes with a single attack is debastating. Ninja Boy and Mew can help out achieving that.

Talking about doing an all-Basics deck, there are some reasons to help explain that. First of all, you have less odds to mulligan, which might seem irrelevant, but you won't like giving your opponent extra cards on their first turn. Playing two copies of Mew may seem low, and you can even try with three if you like too. Mew is your ideal starter, as it lets you Max Elixir your benched Pokémon and not have to worry about hitting the Escape Rope or Float Stone. What's more, Mew is here for its ability: being capable of Y Cyclone preserving energies on the field with a one-prize attacker is huge. I mean, amazing. The odds are against you for surviving with Mew active the next turn, but you can finish the defending Pokémon with a healthy attacker. Also, Mew gives you the mentioned flexibility as it can copy every single attack of our Pokémon, but take care, you better attack with Fright Night Yveltal instead of copying it with Mew because you won't be smiling anymore after loosing 3 energies when your Mew fades, which is sometimes necessaire in given circumstances, but it's a missplay I usually see in other players games.

Going in detail, looking at the Yveltal/Zoroark decklist, I took away a Reverse Valley because I wanted space for something else, and as Mew won't be joining Reverse Valley, I found it a good decision. I changed a Float Stone for an Escape Rope to help against Jolteon EX (which is a pain overall) and Bursting Balloons, and included Pokémon Ranger to avoid almost auto-loosing against Jolteon EX.

This is the version I worked with the most because it's the most versatile one out of the three, and I tried crazy ideas such as including Lugia, or some better options like Jirachi, which I would put in instead of Pokémon Ranger as it discards everyone's special energies, which can be determinant against Vileplume Toolbox, Rainbow Road, Giratina EX decks, etc., and it can be used with Mew too (not Mewtwo haha). Darkrai EX could be a smart inclusion too, as it hits for a single DCE, has massive HP and can be nice finishing some EX attackers or OHKO'ing low HP Pokémon.

To sum up, it would be my second choice heading into a tournament, as it is even more consistent than the Zoroark version and the deck can adapt to the metagame fairly easy, but it'll struggle against the same decks listed above in Yveltal/Zoroark description.


Finally we met the version of the deck that Azul Garcia and Steffen Eriksen piloted to win their respective tournaments the same weekend. Like the previous versions, Yveltal/Garbodor is a consistent deck too, and even though it lacks some flexibility and surprising factor, it has a huge disruption raw power.

Some of the most played decks in the format rely on abilities or can run smoothly if they are allowed to use their own deck's abilities. Abilities are outplayed by the garbage Pokémon, Garbodor, which with a lack of any viable Tool' remover in Standard format it's an insurance. With that, Yveltal can outplay some of its worse match ups such as Greninja and Volcanion. Overall, Yveltal/Garbodor shined some years ago, so there's no reason why nowadays it can't be a top tier deck.

Going into the list, I've played versions running another Oblivion Wing Yveltal, running a risky 1-1 Garbodor line in order to include some nice inclusions to the deck such as Ninja Boy, Umbreon EX, Jirachi or more copies of a certain card, Escape Rope, some Enhanced Hammer, Faded Town... and the list goes on. Is really important to properly read the metagame before heading into a tournament with Yveltal/Garbodor, because if the field is plenty of Fairy decks you'll most certainly have a bad time. The only thing I want to point out is the inclusion of Olympia to always have a way to retreat your active Pokémon, that can be a Garbodor with a Fighting Fury Belt attached (it happens, sometimes you need to shut down Greninja, Volcanion EX or Vileplume as soon as possible, trust me). The 30 HP healing part of Olympia can be huge too in certain circumstances.

The Garbodor line kills some room, but it gives better match ups to the deck just shutting off everyone's abilities, and is the deck I would bring to my next local tournament if I was determined to play some Yveltal deck.


Final thoughts

To sum up, Yveltal's hardest match ups are definitely Fairy decks. Against Rainbow Road you can tech on more Enhanced Hammer, Parallel City and increasing the Zoroark line, and against M Gardevoir EX (STS) you can tech in Garbodor and more Parallel City (maybe it's overkill, but whatever). All the oher match ups can be turned out in Yveltal's favor as it has outs to almost every given deck, but it's difficult to find the ideal balance between good metagame reading, consistency and teching.

As a personal quote, I went 7/3/0 with Yveltal variants in physical tournaments, all my 3 losses coming to Rainbow Road decks (even though I think that properly played and teched Yveltal can manage to at least balance the match up).

Concluding the article, Yveltal variants make players think a lot more than other decks as it's not as linear as many of them. You have room for Zoroark, Mew, Garbodor, energy denial, tech for mega evolution decks, tech for special energy based decks, etc., or a combination of some of them, or other variants that may have to be discovered (I even tried Yveltal/Yanmega with suboptimal results).

Hope you liked the article, new ideas and constructive criticism are always welcome!

Marc Costa (contact:


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