Bird Barricades — Quad Lapras, Mega Mewtwo, and Yveltal
Hey there PokeBeach readers! I am thrilled to be back writing for you all once again. The next tournament I will be attending will be the Puerto Rico Special Event; thus, all my recent testing has been dedicated to the Standard format. Since John Kettler unleashed Decidueye-GX / Vileplume onto the masses at Anaheim Regionals, it has absolutely dominated the Standard format, taking up almost a third of the top cut in Australia! In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the three decks I’ve been testing that I believe have the strongest matchups against Decidueye, as well as remain strong matchups against the rest of the metagame: Yveltal / Garbodor, M Mewtwo-EX, and Quad Lapras-GX. Without further ado, let’s get started!
Yveltal / Garbodor
Oh boy does it feel good to play this deck again! Once the undisputed best deck in Standard, Yveltal has kind of fallen to the wayside ever since its dominance in London, as Turbo Darkrai has now become most players’ Dark deck of choice due to its incredible speed and the minimal amount of skill needed to pilot the deck well. However, I believe Yveltal’s time to shine is here once again. While Yveltal doesn’t boast any auto wins in the current metagame, it has even to slightly favorable matchups across the board besides Turbo Darkrai, making it a great play in a blind metagame. Recently, I’ve been working on this list a lot with fellow PokeBeach writer Ahmed Ali. He will also be discussing his version of the list in his upcoming article, so make sure to check out his article to see how our lists and thought processes against certain matchups differ. Without further ado, let’s take a look at my current build.
The list has changed a ton since I last posted my Yveltal / Garbodor list, as the meta has drastically shifted since then, causing me to tech for different matchups. Let’s examine some of the changes I’ve made and what they’re geared to do.
I used to play two Garbodor, as it was much more important to get into play when the metagame was dominated by Greninja and Volcanion. However, with Greninja completely dead and Volcanion seeing a dip in play (as well as being checked by Wobbuffet), I’ve been able to drop the Garbodor count to just one since I have Super Rod if I really need two. In most matchups, you don’t need to rush to get Garbodor into play, allowing you to get away with playing a single copy.
It’s not like Yveltal needed another partner, but Tauros-GX was created anyways! This card works incredibly well in Yveltal, especially with two Ninja Boy. First, it gives you more early pressure against evolution decks, allowing you to donk low HP Basics such as Combee and Rowlet. Tauros also gives you another check to Turbo Darkrai. If your opponent decides to get aggressive early, you can Ninja Boy into a Tauros and Mad Bull GX their attacker and get rid of most, if not all of their Energy. Tauros is also very strong against decks that cannot do 220 damage in one turn, such as Decidueye-GX / Vileplume and any Lapras-GX based deck. Against these, the combination of Tauros, Fighting Fury Belt and Pokémon Center Lady allow you to wall behind Tauros, begging your opponent to attack into you while you set up your board, as you can return KO them (or hit them really hard in return with Rage) if they ever decide to attack into you. By running two Tauros, it allows you to almost always have access to one via Ninja Boy, while also being able to have a second one on the board at the same time if needed.
Wobbuffet has been popping up in nearly every deck lately as a counter to Decidueye-GX / Vileplume, and Yveltal is no exception! Without Wobbuffet, Yveltal has a really difficult time against Decidueye, as you’re at best trading two shots while they can out damage you due to Feather Arrow’s extra damage. With two Wobbuffet and two Ninja Boy, you’re almost always able to guarantee a Wobbuffet in the Active on your first turn if you go first, slowing down Decidueye enough where you are able to set up multiple attackers, and potentially even a Garbodor. By playing two Wobbuffet, we are able to only play a single copy of Garbodor, as Wobbuffet gives us the Ability-lock early game we need against speedy decks such as M Rayquaza-EX and Volcanion until we get our Garbodor in play. The inclusion of Wobbuffet is the single biggest change made to Yveltal since Sun and Moon has released, and easily the most impactful. This card is just so incredibly strong against the metagame right now that abusing it is a must.
Two Ninja Boy
This card is the star of the show in this list. Ninja Boy allows us to get our optimal starter almost every game. This is incredibly important in the current metagame, as many matchups are decided on the first turn based on tempo. Without Ninja Boy, Wobbuffet becomes much less effective as a counter against Decidueye-GX / Vileplume, as well as against other decks that abuse Abilities. Ninja Boy also allows you to reuse and clear your board of Shaymin-EX, get a turn two Garbodor when you missed the Trubbish turn one, take a surprise Knock Out with Tauros-GX, and more. I used to not be a fan of this card, but boy does Ninja Boy unlock tons of new plays that Yveltal didn’t have access to before.
One Pokemon Center Lady, One Olympia
While I used to have many more tech Supporters in the list, Ninja Boy now takes two of those spots up. Thus, instead of our usual spread of tech Supporters (like Delinquent, Team Flare Grunt, and Hex Maniac), we’re left with just two: Pokémon Center Lady and Olympia. Pokemon Center Lady has two main uses. First, it’s used as a counter to the extra damage done by Decidueye-GX, forcing your opponent to spend more time using Feather Arrow on a target they already believed to be in KO range. Second, with the rise of Lapras-GX, Pokemon Center Lady gives you a powerful out against Ice Beam GX. Lapras decks rely on that one turn of Paralysis to gain a tempo advantage, so denying that is incredibly potent against them and usually game breaking.
Olympia has two main uses as well. First, like Pokemon Center Lady, it is a really solid counter to Lapras decks, especially since we play three Float Stone (as this gives you a ton of flexibility with how you want to use your Max Elixir in combination with Olympia). Second, Olympia was included to give Tauros-GX some more mobility. Since Tauros usually wants to have a Fighting Fury Belt attached to it (in order to make full use of its two damage counter based attacks) as well as having a beefy three Retreat Cost, Olympia was an easy inclusion in order to remedy this issue.
One Super Rod
Previously, I didn’t play this card, mostly because I played one Oblivion Wing Yveltal as my way of recovering Energy. However, now with only one Garbodor, Super Rod becomes much more important, as I need a way to recover not just Energy, but Pokemon as well. With a second copy of Garbodor, Super Rod becomes expendable, but in this list it’s absolutely needed.
This list has a little bit of space to work with, so let’s discuss some of the cards you could choose to play.
Two Trainers’ Mail
The one downside to Ninja Boy is that you can’t draw through your deck the turn you use it. Trainers' Mail gives you the ability to potentially get the card you want that turn while still being able to Ninja Boy into the correct Pokemon. Trainers’ Mail also gives you a little extra speed, which is really helpful against fast decks such as Volcanion and M Rayquaza-EX.
One Mewtwo EVO
If you’re really struggling against M Mewtwo-EX, consider teching in the baby Mewtwo to help against that matchup. While I personally don’t like it as you need their Mega Mewtwo to have five Energy on it, as well as have a Fighting Fury Belt on Mewtwo, in order to OHKO it, it gives you a solid one Energy, non-EX attacker that can pick up revenge Knock Outs relatively effectively.
I hate not playing Delinquent in my decks, because I feel as if I am lacking the ability to outplay my opponents without it. Delinquent punishes players who do not know to play around it, giving you free wins in situations where you otherwise should not be able to win.
One Hex Maniac
Hex Maniac is another card specifically to counter Decidueye-GX / Vileplume. While it’s more powerful than Wobbuffet, it also has the drawback of being your Supporter for the turn. Overall, I’ve found Pokémon Center Lady and Olympia to be better, but Hex Maniac is definitely something worth considering.
Now that we’ve looked at all of the changes to the list, as well as possible changes you can make, let’s discuss Yveltal’s matchups against the top three decks in the metagame and how to play them. I’ll also explain how it matches up against Lapras-GX.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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