Using Yanmega As a Competitive Pokémon in Pokémon X and Y
The Ogre Darner Pokémon
Special Attack: 116
Special Defense: 56
Yanmega has decent offensive stats even though it lacks any usable bulk, but where it shines are its two great abilities: Speed Boost and Tinted lens. Tinted Lens gives it almost completely unresisted coverage because it boosts resisted hit damage by 50%. Speed Boost is also a great ability but Yanmega doesn't get Baton Pass to best utilize it in a supporting role, so that leaves it to a purely attacking role on a team. With great coverage, decent base 116 Special Attack and the ability to outspeed any Pokémon without priority, Yanmega has the potential to do some real damage on a team that can support it well.
One thing to watch out for is Stealth Rock, since Yanmega is x4 weak to Rock type moves, so if it switches in while Stealth Rock is up it will lose 50% of its health. The best way to make sure your Yanmega can safely switch however it pleases is to carry a Rapid Spinner or Defogger on your team to keep it free of entry hazards. Yanmega is also very frail, so most strong priority moves can easily take it out, and Yanmega doesn't have the best Special Attack stat so some bulkier Pokémon can take Yanmega's attacks and KO it back with a super effective move. With Rapid Spin and Defog support however Yanmega can be a great asset to your team and its Bug and Flying STAB will surprise you with just how useful it can be.
Move Sets To Consider
Ability: Speed Boost
Item: Life Orb
252 Sp atk/252 Speed/4 Def
Shadow Ball/Giga Drain/Psychic
Protect/Shadow Ball/Giga Drain
This is a fairly standard move set for Yanmega. It has two great STAB moves in Bug Buzz and Air Slash and that gives it great coverage over common Dark, Psychic, and Fighting types and depending on your choice of coverage moves you can cover a lot of different threats after acquiring one Speed Boost, which may require Protect, but with Yanmega's great 95 base Speed you might not need if you can force out a Pokémon that is easily KO'ed by one of your STAB or coverage moves, and with a Life Orb and a max Special Attack stat, that shouldn't be too difficult. Giga Drain is great against Rotom, Manaphy, and Slowbro and it helps Yanmega recover some of the health that you'll be losing due to Life Orb recoil. Shadow Ball is great for opposing Ghost types such as Gengar and Aegislash that resist Yanmega's Bug and Ghost type moves. Psychic is a decent coverage option but Air slash already hits Fighting Pokémon super effectively and Poison types outside of Tentacruel and Venusaur aren't all that common competitively.
You'll mostly need to watch out for some Steel types that resist your STAB moves, Pokémon like Aegislash and Excadrill can easily switch in on Yanmega and force it out with the threat of OHKO'ing it with their powerful STAB or super effective moves. Priority users such as Scizor, Talonflame and Azumarill are especially dangerous and can force out Yanmega and if Stealth Rock is up, that can severely limit how effective it can be throughout the match. Thundurus is also a big threat since it resists both of Yanmega STAB moves and with priority Thunder Wave and STAB Thunderbolt and Volt Switch, it can stop Yanmega in its tracks and is one the biggest threats that Yanmega faces on the competitive scene. These Pokémon should all be planned for if you want to run this set.
Ability: Tinted Lens
Item: Choice Specs
252 Sp Atk/252 Speed/4 Def
Giga Drain/Shadow Ball
This is a bit of a harder set to play, but thanks to Tinted Lens you'll be able to hit a lot more Pokémon without having to worry about Pokémon that resist you STAB moves being able to switch in freely. Pokémon like Thundurus can't easily switch in on any of Yanmega's attacks as it gets OHKO'ed by Bug Buzz after Stealth Rock damage. With Tinted Lens Yanmega is a much bigger threat to your opponent's team and later on in the match it can wipe out lots of weakened Pokémon without having to worry about locking itself in to an attack that has poor coverage. The Choice between U-Turn and Shadow Ball comes down to how you want use Yanmega and at what you want to utilize it. Shadow Ball gives you better coverage overall, but U-Turn allows you to keep momentum and escape situations and Pokémon that Yanmega can't handle until later in the match.
Yanmega's biggest problem is its base 95 Speed, since there are some Pokémon that it would be able to KO but can't since its low Speed leaves it vulnerable to faster Pokémon and Choice Scarf users that can get the jump on it and KO it without a second thought. Priority users are still a problem and you should probably steer clear of them if possible. Capitalizing with Choice Specs Yanmega means hitting as hard as possible when your opponent switches in a counter and severely denting or KO'ing it. Sticky Web support is almost mandatory due to Yanmega's lackluster Speed without Speed Boost, so keep Yanmega away from strong speedy Pokémon. This might mean that Yanmega will only show itself once or twice in a battle, but playing conservatively is the name of the game when using Choice Specs Yanmega.
Yanmega might be a great Pokemon, but it still needs support from teammates in order to be 100% effective on your team. Packing some fast sweepers and support Pokemon that can stop other Pokemon from setting up or spreading status on your team are good options for teammates. Rapid Spinners are also very good options since you'll need to keep a clear field at all times, not just for Yanmega, but for the benefit of your whole team. Defog is a good option too, but if you want to keep your own hazards up, Rapid Spin is generally a better option. Keep Yanmega supported for the duration of the match, and you can have a real monster on your hands.
Garchomp is one of the best Dragon type Pokemon in competitive play right now, its versatility, mega evolution and even usable bulk makes it a scary Pokemon to face unless you have a strong Ice type moves on your team or a very bulky Pokemon to take it on. Its great base 102 Speed makes it a fantastic Choice Scarf user to outspeed lots of threats that Yanmega can't handle without Speed Boost. Its Ground typing gives it a nice immunity to Electric type moves and can freely switch in to the Thunder Waves and Thunderbolts that Yanmega fears. It also makes a great candidate for you Mega evolution Pokemon and its great mixed attacking stats make it an even bigger threat with Draco Meteor and Fire Blast.
Absol is a decent Pokemon overall, but its mega evolution has made a fantastic wall breaker and with its great ability Magic Bounce it can counter lots of bulky walls that really on status and set up moves to be successful. Not only is it very useful counter to some walls and pivots, but its great mixed attacking stats and good movepool make it great at cleaning up weakened Pokemon on your opponent's team, and a very powerful STAB Sucker Punch make it useful for taking care of other Priority users that Yanmega fears. One thing to watch out for is Absol's poor bulk, and even strong resisted hits can severely dent Absol. If you choose to have both Mega-Absol and yanmega on your team, be aware that their poor bulk may be a liability in the long run and having a dual screen Pokemon or very bulky Pokemon are necessary to make sure that either or Both of these Pokemon succeed on your team.
Donphan is a great bulky Rapid Spinner, even though it might not be as effective as it once was due to lots of Pokemon outclassing it as a Rapid Spinner and strong Special Attackers have made its job that much harder. Its Ground typing and access to ice Shard make it a great asset to Yanmega defensively and its resistance to stealth Rock gives it a few opportunities to freely spin away entry hazards so Yanmega can wreak havoc as it pleases. Its great physical bulk also lets you set up your own Stealth Rock with it or dent other Pokemon with STAB earthquake. Strong Ice type moves such as Ice Beam or Hidden Power Ice can KO both Yanmega and Donphan very easily so watch out for those Pokemon and plan accordingly by having Water or Steel types on your teams.
Yanmega Sweep X and Y
Yanmega In Action
This battle shows how effective Yanmega can be late in the game and with some status support. Note that the opponent's team here isn't common for higher competitive tiers, but its an effective Pokemon all the same.
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Yanmega is a Pokemon that has as many strengths as it does weaknesses, and it's up to you to put it on a team that either covers its weaknesses very well or can capitalize on Yanmega's Speed and good STAB moves. More than anything it's important to eliminate Stealth Rock and other entry hazards to ensure maximum effectiveness with Yanmega. If you can properly support and play a bit more conservatively than usual, you can maximize Yanmega's potential.
As always, there will be a reader poll so you can vote on the next Pokemon for me to cover! If I missed anything or if you have suggestions for other sets leave them in the comments below!
For battles, trades, and general Pokemon talk follow me on Twitter @danny_saya
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