Pokémon TCG Tips & Strategy
November 13, 2009 by Josh Wittenkeller
Take it away J-Wittz…
You missed Broken-Time Space as a staple on the list but the montage featured it. Also the deck can be vulnerable to Flygon lock and if you don’t see it early enough its a very easy lock. Overall I love this deck since Nationals and its only shame to me that its main association is with the French.
GO CLEAN YOUR ROOM RIGHT NOW, YOUNG MAN.
I am really liking this show, very much. The gyarados archetype is surely a great contender as you said, but at the same time, I love how you manage to prove that even this 130-150 tank can also bomb the place.
I am digging the lists, the reasons and the reasoning behind each card… But what I feel that you could do would be a little more on the side of what to do If X Card gets out, techs to counter… Y’know?
I am also very happy with the presentation, the backstory of the deck… And of course, the way that you propose variations of this deck.
Very fulfilling, I am glad these arent a once a week kind of things… And hey, if you need some art, ask away! Im sure that there are plenty of people here who are willing to help your show in any way or form =D
Good Job! Keep it up!
About the video, it’s great. The strategy is explained well and most of the most used techs are also mentioned. I’ve played Gyarados list on 5 BR’s this season and were 1st, twice 3rd and 5th and 8th (played 16-6). My views of the Gyarados list comes here:
One Combee is almost MUST in this deck. I have said this before and I’m still saying it. Combee have saved my game about dozen times. When I cannot draw a Rescue or TSD, Roseanned Combee saves my game. You can also use Combee’s Honey even if you’re power- or trainer locked (Spiritomb/Deafen/Kabutops/Mesprit/etc).
I do prefer Lunatone over a Regies. I often discard 2 Magikarps with T1-2 Felicity, so I only need to discard up to one more Magikarp. Usually I discard the 3rd Magikarp with second Felicity one turn later. The discard power is quite useless in most of the games. Lunatone has only one energy retreat cost, so you don’t need to play any Switches/Warp Points/Warp Energies. Lunatone also has quite good move for a single Colorless energy. 20 plus discard a Stadium Card. It may become a handy some times.
Also, I want to suggess Skuntank G to all Gyarados players. You use it’s power to Poison your opponent’s active Pokémon (non SP). Power should be only use when you have Crobat G on front or if you know your opponent would KO your Gyarados during next turn. Skuntank helps a lot against Gengars. Poison + Flash Bite/PP + 90 damage Tail Revenge is the key to avoid Fainting Spells. If your opponent played the Stadium, you could try to discard it with a Lunatones attack.
Last Basic I want to suggest is Unown M (@ Unown Q). Every time your Gyarados gets KO’d or SSU’d to hand, bring Unown M to front. Put new Gyarados on bench and flip the Magnet power, if you want. If heads, pull something from opponent’s bench to the active. (Put a Skuntanks Poison and) bring Gyarados to attack.
About the Exp Belts, I think 1-2 is enough for this deck. I have tried to run 2 and it seems to be ok amount to play. Sometimes it feels a bit too much. SSU’s feels almost must to play if you play more than one Exp Belt. By running Belts you should run at least one Dark Energy. You may get T1 (if not started) or T2 donk if you have Exp Belt on your starting hand. One Roseanne can get you a Sableye+Dark, retreat it to the active, give Belt. Now you can deal 60 damage to your opponents active Pokémon.
The deck doesn’t *need* Call Energies or drawing powers to work. It’s not bad thing to run those, but you can manage without of them. Without a Call Energies you should run 17-20+ Basics, so you will most likely to draw more Basics at the setup and mulligan a lot less. 1-1 Claydol should be max in this deck, since you often have 10+ cards hand almost every turn. Claydol helps mainly against hand resetters (TGW/Execggutor/Looker) and Gengar (to put Trainers on bottom of the deck).
Well, all this is my only opinion. Someone else might highly disagree with my point of views. I usually run 18-20 Basics (no Claydol or Uxie), 3-5 Energies (No Calls), and tons of Trainers. Everyone should play that kind of list which they can handle. If some card doesn’t work on your list or you don’t know how to get it work properly; don’t play it. There’s tons of cards to tech in Gyarados. Pick the ones you want.
To anyone whose playing Gyarados on tournaments, good luck.
Best Pokemon videos on the internet? I think so. Well done, J-Wittz!
I’d argue that Luxray GL Lv. X is an important tech in Gyarados, though.
Very good introduction to Gyarados!
Keep ’em coming!
haha yeah, the card total on the bottom even adds to the 37 cards that I should have had with BTS, I guess I was just tired and missed it. I think the bigger oops was missing the Azelf LA as a staple :P.
My bro said you were running a solid version of this at Jimmys. He said you had 8 energy so you wouldn’t run into mime trouble–was it 4 call and 4 cyclone?
Also, I’m trying to remember, was it YOU who called the deck “Fernandos”? My bro can’t call it anything else now. Also, I think you were the first person I ever saw play the deck before the Fabien craze, so congrats to you!
haha, it’s not my side of the room :P. When I film from my desk all you see is the roomie’s side. The lack of any kind of Pokemon memorabilia should have tipped you off :P
Thanks for all the kind words, man! This episode actually took a LOT longer than I thought it was going to be, and I was really frustrated toward the end, but positive praise that you guys have to offer really makes it worth it.
Due to all the time it takes, I’ve considered making the show once a week in order to retain sanity and quality–it depends on how currently busy I am I guess!
I’ve also thought about different ways I can present the format of it. There was a good 4 minutes of video cut due to the youtube 10 minute time constraint and me never wanting to release in two parts again :P. I felt my explanation of the deck was still geared toward newer players and not a full-on J-Witt’z the Pokenerd Pokenalysis, but maybe we need to take baby steps before we get there.
Thanks again, and sorry for the massive comment! :P
Thanks for your praise and analysis! I’ll take a crack at a response:
Combee is a really solid tech I would have never seen until my serious preparation for States and upper level events where I read every single card. He’s definitely nifty in that he breaks through power and trainer lock! It’s too bad you can’t use his power when you great ball him :(. I’ll have to try him out!
I prefer Regice over lunatune just like I did in Regigigas. I feel it’s best to have the ability to discard two because nothing gurantees you’ll draw into Felicity or that you’ll get the Sableye start (even though both of these things happen ALL THE TIME for me). I also love the regimove pokepower, which does the work of a cyclone energy on basics. Early KO of their baltoy, swapping their spiritomb out, swapping mime out, etc. Oftentimes I’ll use him to discard cards I don’t need so I can draw more with Uxie/Claydol, too :P.
Skuntank G was something renowned player Chuck aka. Alex Brosseau was experimenting with in his breakthrough kingdra list last battle roads. It’s a double edged sword that is better the more Gengar your area has. My area (Illinois Midwest), doesn’t seem to play much of it. I wouldn’t play him unless you run 4 BTS, because you need one in play to use his power. The pros are you do 10 damage a turn to your opponent through poison, and your opponent’s active pokemon can’t use powers affected by a special condition. The cons of running him are 1) he’s the worst start EVER and 2) you poison yourself in the process. Not the end of the world but if you don’t have a good retreat strategy you feel really dumb losing 10 HP every turn with no way out :P
Unknown M is a neat little tech I tried working with in a couple of decks of Christmas past. Mostly because I’m a giant maniac who can somehow force a die to roll 14 out of 14 “heads” over the course of the day. But if you get tails and have no switch option around, then you’re in some deep trouble. I think I’d prefer promoting a crobat just so I KNEW I’d have the free retreat option.
As with expert belt, I’ve always done 2 and never felt it was a bad number. the sableye donk belt combo is pretty nifty–it makes me think sometimes that I wish Sableye didn’t force you to go first. However, like my past commentary, you’ll still have to find a way to switch out to him if sableye isn’t in your starting hand.
17-20 basics sounds nuts (around how many Gigas has, an all basic deck)but I suppose that is your alternate. With all those basics, however, your chance of starting with Sableye gets a lot lower, and your chance of getting a rotten start increases. With all the donk around, I think Call energy is worth the 4 spots it takes up. If there’s one thing I want to move in my deck it would be replacing a 1-1 claydol. Maybe for more great ball or something :P.
Thanks for all your input and analysis, man! Every deckbuilder is different, and while I don’t agree with everything you say, I definitely think there’s a lot of hidden gold in this post. Lots of these techs are rare and bound to surprise a new opponent like no other. Thanks for watchin my show, and you have a good one :)
Thanks a ton! I want to be the very best, like no one ever was :P
My brother suggested luxray GL X as well. I still gotta run it, but it looks solid. Would you attack with it like Steven Silvestro did in Raybees or just use him for his “gust of wind” power?
Thanks, MR! I’ll try to keep em coming the best I can. As I’ve stated, I think I might have to move to a weekly format in order to spend enough time studying/living as well as producing fun pokemon TCG videos :).
Oh, I forgot, art! I love doing graphic art on the computer–I’m majoring in advertising and most people in school often look to me to design logos/characters for them. However, making art takes time, and while I’d like to have a creative title card for each of my episodes, I just don’t have time to make them :(.
If you are a semi-talented digital artist and would like to contribute to my cause by providing title card art week to week, email me at JWittz25@gmail.com. Show me one or two of your best works and I’ll let you know if I’d like your help! I’ll try my best to reward you in one way or another, but it might be tough seeing I don’t get paid myself, either! :P. Thanks for all who support the cause!
I was impressed with the detail and clarity you were able to pull off in this short 10 minute video, as you covered almost everything one needs to know about Gyarados as a deck. The back-story was pretty cool, and all of your animations were very smooth and helpful, (though at one point I knew the text descriptions were moving quickly because of time restraints).
I know this takes a while to do, but it’s very well done, and I look forward to more videos.
J-Wittz and 6P givin’ all the tips that you gotta see!
I named it Fernandos on the ride home back from Nats because we were brain storming what actually works with Floatzel GL lv X and that is were the name was derived from. Many people don’t think it’ll work or is worth it but man if your opponent isn’t playing Luxray GL the card advantage from him becomes overwhelming for many decks. And even if they do its a wasted turn of them killing Floatzel that can lead to a response OHKO. I’ve been bouncing off of numerous energy counts between 6-8 while testing. One mime isn’t a problem, its when your opponents drop two then it gets dumb.
haha yeah, that’s why I always run two mime if I’m gonna tech mime :P. I forgot that you ran the floatzel for recovery instead. I don’t know what I’m taking to states, but I’ve been testing like an absolute madman. Illinois is such a tough but fun area to play in
thanks a ton, Quaziko! I couldn’t keep this up if it wasn’t for the amazing positive response! the text does indeed FLY– originally I had recorded a spoken analysis of every single one of those cards, but then the video was like 13-14 minutes and I promised myself I’d never do that again :P.
What deck should I look at next, guys? There’s so many choices to throw around!
Like everyone said, incredible job man. I know it takes a lot of time to put together something like that and have it fit in the 10 minute time slot, but you really did an awesome job. New and old player alike can appreciate it.
I don’t know if this would help you at all, but there is a program I know of called “Camtasia”. It lets you record stuff that you’re doing on your desktop and I think it lets you record yourself from your webcam at the same time.
Anyway what you could do with it is have a Powerpoint going and record that and narrate the whole thing. I would like to do that in the future, but my computer is just too slow and I can’t afford the software. Might be something to look into tho!
ahh, Camtasia will be PERFECT for my next episode on pokemon websites! It’s kinda hard to explain how a website is going if you’re not physically on the site! I just might have a nice thing or two to say about SixPrizes :D
Now that you are lit better, I can see you reading the script. This is probably not worth changing as I doubt too many people notice this. The Gyarados illustration is gold.
Not seeing your face for over five minutes until the last 30 seconds of the video disconnected me to you, the presenter (time could have been a factor for this). It reminded me of someone giving a speech who looks at the audience every 10 seconds for 1 second opposed to someone who has half their speech memorized and never looks at their audince past that. I appreciate you showing yourself and it keeps attentivness up. Sure there are those who did not click on this 10 minute video but would’ve for a 4 minute one… But if someone isn’t willing to invest 10 minutes into a deck analysis then should they be watching your video anyways? IMO, even beginners are that dedicate.
On the deck, I agree with everything that Tonu said except the basic count and Regice. Also, I don’t think Registeel should be mentioned anymore, what use does it have over Lunatone?
What do you mean by this comment?:
“But if you get tails and have no switch option around, then you’re in some deep trouble. I think I’d prefer promoting a crobat just so I KNEW I’d have the free retreat option.”
With Unown Q you can retreat everytime Gyarados is KO’d. Tonu also mentioned SSU, but if tails Gyarados is still active. Is Unown M worth it for just those situations? I don’t know.
I’m sorry if my post comes across as rude.
I like this video, and the analysis was solid. Please keep this up J-Wittz
Great video J-Wittz,
I don’t think Skuntank is that terrible a start. As long as you get a Stadium you can still use Poison Structure and it won’t affect Skuntank. He has fairly high hp (80). The biggest problem is getting him out of the active position – that’s where you need a Switch or Warp Point. There’s definitely not much chance of getting donked with a Skuntank start.
Usually, chances to get the Unown M on the bench (without using extra turn on Sableye) happens after your opponent have drawn something like 3 prices. So usually this power will succeed like one or two times during a single match. I usually have either Q or M on my hand and search the other by using the third Roseanne. There’s also a few matchups where you don’t want to play your Unown M down (ie. Gengar). It’s a good card, but it’s bad if you don’t get any heads at all. If there’s extra space for a Basic, you might want to try it. Then take it off if it doesn’t work well enough. It’s a “high risk, high prof-it” card. :D
IMO Registeel is also the worst thing to play. Only things it haves edge over the Lunatone is the bigger HP and chance to heal itsel. Registeel survives from one Gengars Shadow Room, but not from two. I personally tried to play both Regis at first but then switched it to Lunatone. Mainly because of the one Retreat Cost. Regices Power is tempting, but not for worth playing it. Just because I always happen to start with the worst possible Pokémon once during the tournament. xP
By playing 17 Basics; you have ~8% chance to mulligan, ~27% chance to have one Basic on your starting hand, ~34% chance to have 2, ~22% chance to have 3, and ~9% chance to have 4 or more Basics.
By playing 20 Basics; you have ~5% chance to mulligan, ~20% chance to have one Basic on your starting hand, ~32% chance to have 2, ~27% chance to have 3, and ~16% chance to have 4 or more Basics.
So, by running massive amount of basics, you cut the chance to mulligan and have a lot better chance to draw more than one Basic at the setup. More Basics you have, the worse chance is that your opponent will donk you. Also, every time you add a Basic to your deck, the odds that you start with a lone Magikarp decreases. So it’s an opinion to put your deck full of Basics instead of running 4 Call energiess which you might use a few times (plus random retreating) during the tournament. I were just informing that the Call Energies is not must in this deck. I did run Calls at beging but ditched those and add a few extra basics and the deck is seemed to work a bit better (for me at least).
Skuntank G start is the worst starter in my list of Gyarados. Luckily, Poké Turn and SSU can be used to it to get it on your hand, too.
Great Vid. I play rare candy instead of BTS due to flygon.
Keep the videos coming!!!!
I think a lot of the comments in here are just nitpicking. J-Wittz actually did an awesome job with this.
Way to go J-wittz!
i hope fabien could see this man, it’s freakin awesome
i enjoyed the first rhymes too
It’s all good, and I don’t consider it rude. I’m almost baffled I haven’t come across to someone who just inexplicably raged at me yet, actually!
The lack of video here isn’t due to time restraints–it honestly would have taken less time just to cut videos together. I used the format I used because I found it most presentable for seeing the full function of a decklist. I feel showing myself for the entire video in the “news reporter” format is best when I talk about the game as a whole as opposed to the deck itself.
I’m more of a consistency player for this kind of deck, different high risk high reward playstyles could definitely involve unknown M + Q etc, but I find this kind of play to be too delicate for my taste. I like to worry about actually getting gyrados out as fast as possible before turning to my ‘bonus options’
Thanks MOTL! How goes life- with and without the pokemon scene? I’m 100% going to nats this year, I hope to see you there :D
Thanks a ton, Nardd! I’m getting swamped with deadlines, but I will DEFINITELY keep this to at LEAST a weekly format
Thanks for the commentary! I really just don’t like skuntank G in general because of its impracticality– but I guess it’s worth a look if your area is heavy on Gengar. I guess in my mind, anything that isn’t sableye or basic+ call usually leads to a sticky situation, so I try to minimize on any other kind of possible start
I’ve seen this done in plenty of stage 2 decks. Flygon’s sand wall doesn’t bother me because I can just warp point/cyclone energy him away and KO whatever he has benched. If you find that the new spiritomb becomes popular in your area, the inability to evolve your magikarp right away could be a tiny hindrance, too. But the choice is yours, my friend!
Thanks a ton Kettler, I love to hear you enjoyed it! The occasional nitpick can get on my nerves just the tiniest bit, but I try to retain the same friendly approachable atmosphere that I do, because I’m always grateful someone took the time out of their day to watch one of my videos :D
I do hope he sees this! I’d also like to know what changes he’s made to the build as well. However, I’m a little afraid I mispronounced his last name :P. I know it’s similar to what I said, but it’s 100% not “gardener” :D
Impressive video, very informative and easy to understand.
Keep it up, it’s great
It’s pronounced like the shampoo. They have catchy commercials. :P
heck of a job! im a big fan of this deck, an think you nailed it really good!
i can’t argue that your video was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much better than mine. LOL way to go dude
i know this was probably already asked but whatsoftware did you use to make the video?
Spiritomb hasnt been played in my area, only deck i have played against with it was shuppet. But i blew through it with no problem.
haha! Maybe I should start looking into them, seeing as I’m in advertising and all :P
haha I’m glad you enjoyed it! I used the program Sony Vegas to put everything together. It’s like a much cheaper Adobe Premier that uses up less computing space :D
Thanks a ton! I came into this deck with a ton of skepticism actually, but after a good week of flipping through the deck over and over again I think I might even take it to a cities event!
Thank you! I do plan to keep it up :D
Nice analysis, maybe you should get someone to proofread your decklist though :P. But I agree, we need to see your pretty face more often, I don’t like the whole narrate till the end of time thing you had going in the middle.
Good show been watching alot and this on was very helpful to players wanting to play this deck. It’s just a shame your decklist comes up and down to fast to see what you are running lol. keep up the good work…
proofread as in the list isn’t good or proofread as in I don’t know the names of the pokemon? :P
We’ve got people who want to see me less and people who want to see me more :P. I’ll keep fiddling around with the format while I can, but it seems I can’t please everybody :P
haha just try pausing the list at the end and see if it works. If I had more time I’d talk about it but I really just talk to much these days! :P
what about a gardy profile.
Haha maybe I will sometime, Jeremy, although the video would have to be me reexplaining everything i said on that huge article I wrote back in the day :P
The deck definitely got a Power Trip from this set…
The combee is a great idea. It’s searchable you you most definitly have the room, and you can use SSU and do it again. To J-wittz Mr. Mime is not a huge problem for this deck. You have the ultimate control with regice when it comes to moving the mime out of the active.
Combee gets around spiritomb.
Cyclone/Regi works well against mime because it helps against that situational outcome of a flygon taking away your BTS with a mr.mime in play. You switch them and Flygon can’t deal with the repeated 110+ attacks.
Flygon also has trouble locking your stuff if you run 2 unown g and combee, again SSU and poketurn can clear your active spot.
Futhermore Expelt belt helps against the sp decks. In order to get an OHKO a luxray will have to have 3 energy attached and or egain, lucario and crobat to get the ohko. Not that easy if you can just continuously ohko them with 110 anyway.
Expert Belt works well with SSU crobats and poketurns. It also inproves your beedrill matchup, which is key if i might add. Beedrill will increasingly get popularity due to the drop in SP decks and the rise in evolved decks.
For mirror, ditto LA becomes a fantastic tech for the mirror matchup because you can copy tail revenge to do 120
To a deck i was once skeptical about it has gotten much stronger.
Only seen 3 mins, but lovin’ it!
could u run a Garchomp X to have it hit its fullest damage of 120 -140 if belted?
you could–I’ve even seen this idea tried LONG before the deck was popular, however, it’s just too hard to get out. garchomp X is a “stage 3 pokemon”, so you’d need a 4 card line or a 3 card line plus rare candy, and even then you need to use garchomp’s attack first :/
Nice job like always!
Great video; I learned a lot!
Quick question: are Uxie and Claydol necessary in a Gyarados deck? I realize they are staples in almost every deck, but I feel they slow this deck down, and are unnecessary with Felicity’s draw power.
Also, are Call energies really necessary? I feel like they are a waste of space in this deck.
lastly, do you like Floatzel X here?
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