A Decidueye for an eye
Pokemon Scarlet & Violet have gone a bit wild with Tera Raids this past month. As much of a surprise as Walking Wake and Iron Leaves were, the absolute insanity of 7-Star Pikachu threw the raiding community for a loop. For better or for worse, we’re back to business as usual with a showdown against the final evolution of a previous game’s starter. Thankfully, it isn’t nearly as hard as the thunder mouse.
Like other 7-Star events, Decidueye will always carry the Flying Tera Type, and its strategy will remain consistent. While you can only catch Decidueye once, you can continue to farm the fight for loot like Ability Patches and Bottle Caps. It appears the Tera Shard gains from the Pikachu fight are the new norm from now on too, which thankfully alleviates the insane grind for the items by a tiny bit.
If you are playing in a well-coordinated party, Decidueye is one of the quickest and easiest 7-Star fights to clear in the game yet. However, if even one party member isn’t on the same page, you’re going to have a bad time going into the shield phase. Let’s fly into the details.
Though Decidueye technically has the stats for a mixed moveset, it is strictly a physical attacker. Turn by turn, Decidueye can hit you with either Spirit Shackle, Brave Bird, Low Kick, and Leaf Blade. In other words, it will hit you with Ghost, Flying, Fighting, and Grass-Type attacks. The owl technically gets a STAB bonus to all but the Fighting-Type attack, but keep in mind that Low Kick’s power is based on your Pokemon’s weight. Decidueye may opt to hit you with Low Kick over the other options because of this.
Right after the first turn, Decidueye will immediately clear your party of any stat changes. This effectively means you shouldn’t begin the battle with stat-boosting moves, and I didn’t track any party stat resets after this point. This ability will be immediately followed by Feather Dance, sharply lowering the attack stat of one party member. Similar to fights like Cinderace and Greninja, Decidueye will linger in this first phase until its HP is pushed low enough or an ally falls in battle. We’ll get more into this later.
Once the first phase resolves, Decidueye will enter the usual Tera Raid shield phase. Here is where things can get dicey. While it won’t necessarily happen right away, Decidueye will eventually reset its negative stat changes and immediately use Swords Dance. Its damage in phase one is manageable out the gate, but its output with Swords Dance gets terrifying if left unchecked. Additionally, it will start weaving uses of Air Cutter on top of its normal attacks. You’ll need to be very careful of critical hits throughout this fight. A bad roll of RNG is all it takes to wipe out your Pokemon, potentially setting your party up for a loss.
How to counter Decidueye
Before we get deep into strategy, let’s clear up one thing; Electric-Type Pokemon are clear winners in this fight. They deal Super-Effective damage and have resistances to Decidueye’s strongest attacks. That said, Decidueye knows its hidden ability Long Reach, which nullifies contact-based abilities like Static.
As for the encounter itself, there’s the easy route and the hard route. If your team is on the same page, you can potentially set up a one-hit knock out by immediately barraging Decidueye’s defenses with moves like Metal Sound and Acid Spray. Combined with offensive cheers, Helping Hand, and the power of a certain legendary Pokemon, you can nuke Decidueye to the moon and back before the shield phase begins. Even if you lack the means to defeat it in one turn, it’ll be within range to burn down with mildly careful play.
Of course, the odds of your entire party coordinating and deliberately keeping Decidueye’s HP high at the start is slim. In other words, you’ll need to prepare for Decidueye to throw its shield up and hit you with its terrifying offenses. Reflect is non-negotiable here, as you’ll need mitigation to make this phase go smoothly. Additionally, a party member can time Taunt before the shields go up to completely block Swords Dance (pictured above). Chilling Water puts in ample work too, as it gives you a method to lower Decidueye’s offenses despite its shield. If you can nerf the owl’s offenses enough here, you should be able to cruise to victory. Focus as much as you can on defense and don’t be afraid to use Cheers if needed.
The best Pokemon to bring
Typically, I like to talk about a handful of Pokemon that work well against the encounter in question. However, this fight uniquely has a few standout Pokemon that are exponentially better than virtually any other option. You’ll realize why shortly.
DPS MVP: Miraidon
It was only a matter of time until a 7-Star raid was weak to one of the cover legendary Pokemon. In fact, Decidueye seems designed for Miraidon to show off. Your bread-and-butter attack is, unsurprisingly, Miraidon’s signature Electro Drift. This is one of the best Electric-Type attacks in the game, especially combined with Miraidon’s fantastic Special Attack. If you’re going for a quick clear, you’ll want Metal Sound to lower Decidueye’s Special Defense and Charge to bolster Miraidon’s attack potential.
If you can’t achieve a quick clear, there are a few other options to consider. Parabolic Charge gives Miraidon sustainability and preserves some precious PP for Electro Drift. If Decidueye’s defenses are low enough, Parabolic Charge will provide decent sustain during the shield phase. Taunt, as mentioned above, will potentially save your entire run if timed correctly. Miraidon can also use Reflect to ensure your allies are protected. Support doesn’t necessarily suit Miraidon, but there’s value in covering bases that other players online might lack.
I was able to get a solo clear with Miraidon. I started with Reflect, used Metal Sound Twice, then proceeded to use Charge and Electro Drift to bring Decidueye to a sliver of health. The battle was just a matter of brute force from there. Consider this approach if online rooms give you trouble. Of course, you’re a bit out of luck if you can’t access Violet version, which brings us to our other MVP.
DSP/Support MVP: Bellibolt
Bellibolt really gives you everything you need for this encounter. Most players are running Bellibolt as DPS, which makes sense given Miraidon’s exclusivity. With great Defense and respectable Special Attack, this frog puts in work. Many players opt to give it Parabolic Charge, which it can learn using the Mirror Herb trick as an egg move. Electric Terrain can be used if no Miraidon is present (or the effect of Hadron Engine wars off), and Thunder Bolt is standard for offense. The Electromorphosis Ability also effectively makes Bellibolt use Charge every turn, bolstering damage potential further.
Having said that, for anyone playing online, I highly recommend running Bellibolt as support. Miraidon is just a stronger DPS candidate, and Bellibolt has wildly useful support moves. Acid Spray is key for quick victories, as it sharply lowers Special Defense and works while Decidueye’s shield is up. Chilling Water comes in clutch too, bringing essential Attack debuffs after Decidueye uses Swords Dance. Bellibolt can also use Reflect, rounding out its mitigation options.
If built to maximize HP and Defense, Bellibolt has enough bulk to take buffed hits from Decidueye as it chips away at its offenses. As long as your party members try to survive as you whittle away at stats, you should be able to pull off a clean victory through the shield phase. Alternatively, an offensively-built Bellibolt can keep beating Decidueye’s defenses down with Acid Spray and rely on everyone using Parabolic Charge to make up for the incoming damage. Either way, strongly consider running Bellibolt with at least one or two support moves.
Honorable mention: Toxtricity
I looked into many different Pokemon that could be viable here. Farigiraf with the hidden ability Sap Sipper theoretically is immune to Decidueye’s Grass and Ghost attacks, but it’ll still take hits from Air Cutter and Brave Bird. Corviknight has a solid Flying/Steel-Type combination, but doesn’t have a movepool that counters Decidueye super well. Miraidon and Bellibolt just cover so many bases that it’s hard to justify using anyone else.
The only Pokemon really worth a specific shout is Toxtricity. Electric/Poison is great typing for this fight, and it knows essential support moves like Taunt and Acid Spray. Toxtricity is also capable of using Nuzzle to paralyze Decidueye, which can potentially save your team if you have good RNG. Most importantly, its access to Helping Hand is vital for one-hit KOs. If everyone reliably uses Miraidon and Bellibolt in rooms online, a Toxtricity can add some extra utility for cleaner victories.
Find what works for you
Within the first 12 hours of this encounter going live, my wins were inconsistent. Having said that, the tactics for Tera Raids usually solidify going into the weekend. I wouldn’t be surprised if more nuke strategies gain prominence, similar to how Stored Power Slowbro dominated Cinderace once the fight was live for long enough.
If you find an unorthodox setup that gets you consistent success, absolutely go for that. For example, Iron Hands has generally been discouraged due to Feather Dance, but some players are making it work regardless. Pay attention to the meta as it evolves and try to play along with strategies you see other players using. Good luck!
Related: How to Counter any Tera Raid in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet on PrimaGames