States 2010 Previews: Gyarados

I am going to try and get some testing done this week before states and report back on different decks and let you report back with what I think are their strengths and weaknesses.

The first deck I’m going to take a look at is Gyarados. Here’s a sample decklist:

4 Magikarp SF
4 Gyarados SF
4 Sableye SF
2 Crobat G PL
1 Regice LA
1 Azelf LA
1 Uxie LA
1 Combee SF
1 Unown Q MD
4 Pokémon Collector
4 Felicity’s Drawing
2 Bebe’s Search
2 Luxury Ball
2 VS Seeker
3 Expert Belt
2 TGI Poké Turn
2 PlusPower
3 Warp Point
4 Broken Time-Space
4 Pokémon Rescue
4 Call
1 Cyclone

Gyarados Stormfront SF 19This list has 4 extra spots, which you could use for 4 Super Scoop-Up, 4 Pokémon Reversal, or maybe 1/1 Luxray GL LV.X and 2 more TGI Poké Turn. Ditto LA is a neat tech for mirror matches too.

This build has been very solid for me. Three Expert Belts are one of the keys to the deck; they give you the power to simply out-muscle your opponent. Playing 3 copies of the card gives you better odds of drawing into it when you need it. I wouldn’t cut a single one.

The VS Seeker are a little questionable, but I like them so that I can Felicity’s Drawing up to 6 times in the game. I feel like Felicity in Gyarados is akin to Cyrus’s Conspiracy in SP decks. You could take them out for Supporters like Bebe’s, Copycat, or Cynthia’s Feelings if you wanted to.

I won’t list any percentages for matchups because A) I don’t know any! and B) nobody agrees on percentages anyway…but I will talk about what matchups I think are good and bad for Gyarados.

From my testing, Gyarados has been solid against LuxChomp and Jumpluff. I haven’t gotten to test it versus a lot of decks, but I am going to assume it does decently against Donphan and Flygon variants as well.

It doesn’t do so hot against Dialga G LV.X variants and anything that plays two Mr. Mime MT. If Gengar/Spiritomb or Magnezone/Spiritomb is playing 2 Mimes, you’ve got almost no shot against them. Shuppet is also supposedly a bad matchup for Gyarados. All they need to do is get 1 Shuppet and 1 Mime in play and you’re toast.

I guess you could try teching in a Dialga G LV.X into Gyarados to shut off Mr. Mime and Spiritombs which really do hinder you. I am not sure if it would be worth it or not. It wouldn’t help against Gengar, but against Magnezone, yes. It may be too difficult to get it out against Shuppet.

Looker’s Investigation, Team Galactic’s Wager, and Giratina PL (“Let Loose”) also hurt Gyarados. It usually has a huge hand from using Felicity turn after turn, so losing their big hand can set them back to the point where they can’t recover. However, if you make sure to discard dead cards from your hand with Felicity’s and Regice like Sableye and Call Energy, you have a heightened chances of drawing into good cards once you draw your new hand.

I do think Gyarados is a legit choice for States as it is consistent can can beat SP decks not focusing on Dialga. The ability to do 90 for no Energy turn after turn is unmatched. There are just a few matchups that I do not think are winnable, and may make the deck not worth playing. You have to hope that those decks it loses to lose to decks that you do beat, and hope to only play versus them as the tournament progresses.

Reader Interactions

24 replies

  1. CoMiT

    Really nice article adam. gyarados is definitely one of the BDIF right now. It is interesting that you mention dialga g lvx. I have played it in gyarados and it definitely does work. because of the high hp of gyarados you can afford the time to set up a dialga g lvx on the bench when playing shuppet or anything else with spiritomb/mr. mime. if not the cards can be discarded with felicity's etc. perhaps add in more cyclone/warp depending on your areas meta.

  2. hunter cordes

    couldn't Honchkrow do good against this deck ? ( darkness Restore ) to get the Magikarp

  3. Brandon Bittinger

    If I were you I would play Special Darkness Energy for Sableye Donks. I have actually seen people win games by Expert Belting Sableye and Donking LOL!

  4. Ryan Graham

    What about the Luxray counter though? I play Mankey SV and a fighting energy for the OHKO revenge for the only deck that I think stands a major chance against Gyarados. Gengar can be scary because of the mass hand you aquire, while they poltergeist the crap out of you, but for the most part, Gengar is stoppable. I think Luxray is the one to keep an eye on, because we all know how much of him we'll see at states.

  5. ctaylor33

    What if you don't play VS Seeker? Can you rely solely on 4 Felicity's and one Uxie for draw power?

  6. Brandon Bittinger

    Yes you can actually because you can use the Sableye to dig everything out with!

    @Adam: Why do you play 2 Luxury Ball?

  7. Brandon Bittinger

    Exactly, the faster the faster the better! Also with Pokemon Collector released they can get out 3 Magicarp, discard 2 with Regice, and then use Sableye to use Felicitiy's Drawling to get rid of the other witch makes the deck extremely fast now! I am actually surprised he doesn't play the Slorock (SV) and Lunatone (GE) combo to dump a Carp and draw a card of his choice, if you play that it helps with drawpower too!

  8. Thomas Binghi

    I was using 4 Felicitys and an Uxie at city's and I felt it was enough draw power. But the vs seeker could be really helpful in the endgame if you have a dead hand. Vs. seeker is a better option than Claydol in my opinion when it comes to getting rid of dead hands. Plus you need all the bench space you can get with this deck.

  9. Alexander Stewart

    You need to get some Reversal in there, makes the KO's come SO much faster. Just my 2 cents

  10. Christopher Orr

    You need 4 super scoop up. Take out the VS seeker. Make the plus power's poke turns. Instead of running two luxury ball and 2 Bebe's you should try out 1 Bebe's and 2 pokemon communication, other than that looks good. I love running 3 expert belts myself! Without any counter you should do pretty bad against Luxray. With this deck list you will lose to shuppet, you will lose to luxray most of the time, and you will lose to Plox. I can't think of anyway to counter Plox.

  11. Brandon Bittinger

    I think that people really underestimate that card, it can be quite good at times especially in a deck like this! Although if you play a Palkia X tech you really don't need it!

  12. Adam Capriola

    Yeah just to have a better chance of getting it early on. You can discard the 2nd one later with Felicity's or Regice.

  13. Adam Capriola

    Awesome! Glad to hear Dialga has been tested out, I'll have to try it myself.

  14. Colin Peterik

    How does Gyarados lose to Plox exactly? There are no powers besides Set Up and Regi-whatever. I would like to know because I am running Plox and expect to see G at states.
    Great article, Adam!

  15. Toni Taitto

    You might get to use it once during a game. After that, Gyarados will fill their bench with other Basics. Then they'll hit for 60 until their Gyarados gets KO'd or SSU Magikarp back to hand and discards it with some way. Unless you play Dusknoir DP, Honchkrow doesn't seems to be good counter. It can slow their setup, but you won't prob won by using just that power.

  16. Eelis Peltola

    Now I haven't run Plox or Dos, but on a theorymon level…
    I don't see how Gyarados would have any problems with Plox, either. Sure, if Plox gets the lock going T2, then it may slow Gyarados by a turn or two. A Felicity and one Sableye gets you 8 minus 4 cards(those four preferably being stuff you don't need). All a Dos needs is two Crobat drops and a full power Tail Revenge to OHKO Gardevoir. Gardevoir needs 3 Psychic Locks to KO Dos. Gallade needs to turn 3 Prizes for an OHKO because of Resistance, meaning you can do the trick only twice at max.

  17. Thomas

    When a PLOX plays a Gyrados they should not ever use the Gallade if possible.
    Keep the Psychic lock going the entire game. By doing that you can not drop a Crobat for the quick KO, also if they belt the Gardy then you can not one hit it, it takes two turns and by that point there is a good chance they will retreat to the bench and get healed from the Nidoqueen that is always on the bench…
    Not to mention with a belt you will be two hit KOd by a Gardy.

  18. eli moses

    Run three cyclone three call and take the crobat g out and put 2 more unkown Q and tak the t poke turns out

  19. eli moses

    Run three cyclone three call and take the crobat g out and put 2 more unkown Q and tak the t poke turns out

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