Finally, Xerneas and Yveltal are available for everyone with their signature moves! How much better do they become with Geomancy and Oblivion Wing? Let’s check our Bottom Line Up Front for a quick summary and then get into the thick of it!
- Yveltal’s new move is basically a sidegrade option… at least in Master League. There are just too many things that dislike the Dark or Fighting coverage that you give up to make room for Wing. It’s viable, absolutely, but nothing particularly special.
- If you DO grind for a good new Yveltal, do so for Ultra League instead. The new move helps it quite a bit there, with several good targets to blow over!
- Xerneas is going to be a whole new Pokémon with its new, STAB fast move. If you have to choose between the two, I’d take Xerneas raids any day (and twice on raid day!) over Yveltal this month. I cannot overstate how much BETTER Xerneas works now that it doesn’t have to rely on the perfectly average — even dull — Tackle to get its licks in.
Alright, if you’re still with me, let’s get to the deeper analysis on this pair!
Yveltal and Xerneas: Stats and MovesYveltal Dark Xerneas Fairy
Ultra League Stats
|169 (166 High Stat Product)||130 (132 High Stat Product)||169 (172 High Stat Product)|
(Highest Stat Product IVs: 1-15-14, 2500 CP, Level 24.5)
Master League Stats
(Assuming 15-15-15 IVs; CP 4275 at Level 50)
That’s nice info and all, but let’s just do some quick comparisons to other things that may be more familiar.
Yveltal has roughly the same stat product and overall Attack and bulk as fellow Dark type Tyranitar (in Master League), and even closer to Palkia and Melmetal, falling just slightly behind Zacian and Rhyperior, but with more bulk than things like Dragonite, Metagross, and many other popular Master League picks. It represents the bulkiest big-name Dark in Master League behind only Zarude, and is and neck-and-neck with Tyranitar. What separates Yvette and TTar further is their typing, as Tyranitar (weak to seven typings, most of them popular typings in Master League, including its famous double weakness to Fighting) has a much more exploitable typing combination than Yveltal’s Dark/Flying (weak to only Fairy, Ice, Rock, and Electric, those last two being pretty rare in Master League). It’s still not fantastic, but considering typing vulnerabilities playing into the equation, I think it’s fair to say that only Zarude surpasses Yveltal in terms of Dark-type bulkiness at the Master League level.
And yes, Xerneas has the exact same stats. And that puts it at the highest CP and stat product of any (non-Mega) Fairy in the game besides Zacian (and Xernie has slightly better bulk), never to be surpassed except by anything still coming except perhaps Eternal Flower Floette (so, sometime in the 2030s 😏). By stats alone, it has the makings of a VERY good Fairy for Master League (and perhaps elsewhere too!).
Of course, it all comes down to the moves, and that’s the main reason we’re here today. Let’s start with Yveltal.
YVELTAL INS AND OUTS
- Snarl – Dark type, 1.67 DPT, 4.33 EPT, 1.5 CoolDown
- Sucker Punch – Dark type, 2.5 DPT, 3.5 EPT, 1.0 CD
- Gust – type, 4.0 DPT, 3.0 EPT, 2.0 CD
So there is a case to be made for Gust, but not so much in Master League. There just aren’t all that many things that are weak to it, and despite the high damage it can deal, Yvette is much better off getting to its charge moves early and often.
Snarl is usually the way to go here. Because look at these moves!
ᴱ – Exclusive (Special Event) Move
- Dark Pulse – Dark type, 80 damage, 50 energy
- Oblivion Wingᴱ – type, 85 damage, 50 energy
- Psychic – Psychic type, 90 damage, 55 energy, 10% Chance: Reduce Opponent Defense
- Hurricane – type, 110 damage, 65 energy
- Focus Blast – Fighting type, 150 damage, 75 energy
- Hyper Beam – Normal type, 150 damage, 80 energy)
Yveltal was already pretty good in Master League without any move tweaks, running typically with Snarl/Dark Pulse/Focus Blast. Dark and Fighting provide excellent coverage, with only Fairy resisting both. With widely unresisted Dark Pulse, Yvette has its way with the Giratinas, Mewtwo, Metagross, and Lugia, its Flying subtyping carries it to wins over Swampert, Groudon, and Garchomp, and even Melmetal too. Focus Blast then contributes wins over several things weak to Fighting, to include Ursaluna, Snorlax, Zarude, Excadrill, and even Dialga.
But for all that good, Yvette is still a little frailer than you would like, and loses not only to all the Fairies, but to most Dragons too, as well as big names like Gyarados, Kyogre, Ho-Oh, Landorus, Palkia, and of course Mamoswine.
The thing with Oblivion Wing is that, while it provides different coverage and deals a bit more damage to neutral targets for the same cost as Dark Pulse… it’s a little awkward to find room for it. Without Pulse, you lose the heavy pressure put on Ghost and especially Psychic types, coming out much worse for wear in suddenly-close wins versus Metagross and Mewtwo, and actually losing now to Lugia. On the plus side, you pick up the mirror match and gain more versatility on the whole. But getting cute with Oblivion Wing/Dark Pulse causes other problems, as big Focus Blast is key to have a shot at taking down Ursaluna, Excadrill, Dialga and others, and losing those is no bueno.
Similiarly, with shields down or 2v2 shielding is not only not an improvement on Dark Pulse, it’s actually a small step backwards in both, with Oblivion Wing beating Garchomp in 0S and the mirror in 2S, but Dark Pulse instead beating Altered Giratina in 0v0 shielding and Excadrill in 2v2 shielding… and Lugia in both as well.
So even though Oblivion Wing is a better move on paper, that doesn’t amount to much in Master League. We have a dreaded sidegrade here, folks! This is at least partly because of the dearth of things weak to Flying damage at Master League level. Might we have more success in a lower League? Why yes… yes, I think we do!
In Ultra League, Oblivion is a more obvious upgrade overall thanks to the number of relevant Grasses, Bugs, and/or Fighters to pick on with it. Pulse does still uniquely beat Cresselia, unsurprisingly, but Oblivion Wing comes back with its own unique wins versus Toxicroak, Buzzwole, Golisopod, Venusaur, and Virizion, while still holding down the Ghosts (and everything else) it could beat before with Dark Pulse. This works a LOT better and more reliably than the Flying/Dark combo you could do before: Gust/Dark Pulse.
XERNEAS INS AND OUTS
ᴱ – Exclusive (Special Event) Move
- Geomancyᴱ – Fairy type, 1.33 DPT, 4.33 EPT, 1.5 CoolDown
- Tackle – Normal type, 3.0 DPT, 3.0 EPT, 0.5 CD
- Zen Headbutt – Psychic type, 2.67 DPT, 2.0 EPT, 1.5 CD
Look, don’t run Zen Headbutt, okay? That’s all I have to say about that.
Until now, Xernie has been relying on plain old Tackle to get by. It’s dull, it’s never super effective, but it was good enough to carry Xerneas to a respectable record in Master League on the strength of its charge moves and bulk.
But now, we finally get a move with STAB, and a great move it is, despite technically falling short of the “average” 6.0 overall (when you combine Damage Per Turn and Energy Per Turn). (As compared to Yveltal’s Snarl, the energy generation is the same, but Geomancy trails in damage by about 0.33.) Obviously this puts a TON of emphasis on the charge moves… so good thing that Xernie has some goodies in that department!
- Close Combat – Fighting type, 100 damage, 45 energy, Reduces User Defense -2 Stages
- Megahorn – Bug type, 110 damage, 55 energy
- Thunder – Electric type, 100 damage, 60 energy
- Moonblast – Fairy type, 110 damage, 60 energy, 10% Chance: Reduce Opponent Attack
- Giga Impact – Normal type, 150 damage, 80 energy
As with Yveltal, and as I just linked a couple paragraphs ago, Xerneas has been fine in Master League since the buff to Tackle, running as sort of a “poor man’s” Zacian, with Close Combat and Moonblast for good all-around coverage, taking down most all Dragons (to include Dialga) and Darks and Fighters AND stuff like Mamoswine, Snorlax, and the aforementioned Dialga thanks to the Fighting coverage, with fellow Fairies Togekiss, Sylveon, and yes, Zacian thrown in as bonuses. It helps that Xernie resists Zacian’s fast move AND Close Combats, while Zacian takes steady neutral damage from Tackle throughout.
So what if I told you that Geomancy makes Xerneas better? And not just a little bit, but significantly better?
The improvement Xernie sees with Geomancy — finally giving it the Fairy fast move players have been begging for since its initial release over two years ago — cannot be understated. SEVEN new wins become possible. Some, like Yveltal (even with Oblivion Wing), Garchomp, and both Giratinas (as well as unlisted-in-that-sim Dragon Ascent Rayquaza, which beats Xerneas with Tackle), are rather obvious. Others like Lugia are less obvious but make sense, with Tackle generating only 3.0 Energy Per Turn, but Geomancy hitting the game with 4.33 EPT and thus spamming Xernie’s big charge moves for match-flipping damage. And still others are pleasant surprises, like Melmetal and Excadrill, thanks again to the superior energy of Geomancy leading to more Close Combats that Steels hate. In this way, it can beat Diagla in ALL even shield scenarios. Or if you don’t want to go the self-nerfing route, you can stick to straight Moonblast and still win with shields down and 1v1 shielding, which is pretty nifty! It’s also something Xerneas could NOT do previously, falling short in multiple shielding scenarios with Moonblast alone, forcing Close Combat self-nerfing to keep switch advantage. Not a problem anymore with Geomancy!
If you already built a Xerneas and don’t feel like making that grind again, I DO think Geomancy is worth an Elite TM, but if you’re still working on building one up, bye-bye Tackle… Geomancy Xernie is clearly THE way to go from here on out. And if those sims about didn’t convince you, check out the difference between sad Tackle and super happy Geomancy in 2v2 shielding! No comparison.
All that said, unlike Yveltal, Xerneas just doesn’t have much of a place in Ultra League, Geomancy or no Geomancy. And no, getting cute with alternative movesets doesn’t make the situation any better either. Yvette I’d be tempted to keep below 2500 CP, but Xernie? Xernie goes ALL the way, folks. It’s gonna be a BIG deal for Master League enthusiasts from here on out.
Alright, that’s all I got for today! Tomorrow I should have my New York City GOFest Field Guide up (nearly done!) and hoping to get in some analysis for Thursday’s return of Fantasy Cup as well before I head to New York myself on Friday! I’d love to meet anyone else that will be there Friday afternoon or Saturday (Sat. morning is my official park time), so check the Battle Ground or Notable Trainer area and hopefully I’ll see you there!
Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter and Threads (@JRESeawolf for each) with regular analysis nuggets or Patreon, if you’re feeling extra generous.
Happy raiding, folks! Do stay safe out there, and catch you next time, Pokéfriends!