pokebeach.comHey guys! It’s me Peter here again, and lately I’ve been testing out a few decks due to the Triumphant release being so close and the new decks. In my honest opinion, I believe Gyarados will be making a huge comeback after the official release of Triumphant and I’m here to do an in-depth analysis of the “New Gyarados”.
Here’s a little background on Gyarados. Gyarados was a fairly popular and successful deck last season when Felicity’s Drawing was still in format. However, with the loss of Felicity’s Drawing, Gyarados has lost it’s popularity and seen little play. So how does the deck work?
Gyarados has a fascinating attack called “Tail Revenge”. It let’s you do 30× any number of Magikarp in your discard pile for no energy! This means that you can hit 90 maximum for no energy or 110 with Expert Belt. Forgetting the fact that you won’t have to worry about attaching energy to attack, his damage is fabulous. Most Pokémon SP have 80 HP or 90 HP, which means you will easily 1HKO any basic SP form and 110 is the magic number for the ever popular Luxray GL LV.X and Garchomp C LV.X. Also, the most terrifying part about the deck is its insane recovery. You may have finally Knocked Out that 130 HP Gyarados, or 150 HP with Expert Belt, but next turn, he will will be back on board with Pokémon Rescue to revenge KO you.
Skeleton of the deck
|Pokémon 16-18||Trainers/Supporters 24-27||Energy 7-9|
Total Cards 47-54
Why are these cards vital to the deck?
This is your preferred starter. Sableye is possibly one of the biggest components of the deck and you should always run 4 to maximise your starting possibilities. Sableye’s attack “Impersonate” let’s you look through your deck for a supporter, discard it, than use it’s effect as the attack for no energy. Do you see where this is getting at?
Normally, if you have another Pokémon searching card in hand, your ideal 3 Pokémon should be Regice and 2 Magikarp. Using your turn 2 to play Regice, use “Regi-Move” to discard both of your Magikarp, search for Uxie, “Set-Up” to refresh hand and hope to get a Gyarados out to hit hard. Sableye let’s you set up your Gyarados by turn 2 to attack for 60-90 damage easily.
Main and the only attacker of the deck. As explained above, you will be hitting 30× the number of Magikarp in your discard pile. A stage 1 Pokémon with an astounding 130 HP, +30 Lightning Weakness which hurts, but you will 1HKO and Luxray GL LV.X anyway, and a great resistance of -20 to fighting types. Also being water type with his resistance is to fighting types makes it a natural Donphan Prime counter.
Regice is now your #1 way of discarding your Magikarp. Some may even consider running 2 in the deck to save your bench space in case 1 of them is prized. Regice’s Poké-Power “Regi-Move” let’s you discard 2 cards from your hand, and choose your opponent’s un-evolved active, your opponent then switches that un-evolved Pokémon with one of their benched Pokémon. This is great as you get to discard and get rid of annoying Pokémon like Spiritomb to get out of trainer lock. Also, this Poké-Power can be used even if your opponent does not have a benched Pokémon.
Self-Explanatory. Best draw card in the format.
Also self-explanatory. Let’s you search out that prized Magikarp or Regice.
Due to the deck having low energy, Unown Q is vital to retreat your Sableye or any other 1 retreater that is active to attack with Gyarados. However, the risk is that you might have a lone Unown Q start, exposing yourself to an easy donk.
Some people may run this card, and some may not. It has a held item called “Honey” which let’s you pick up a basic Pokémon from the discard pile when you play it down. It is basically a Pokémon Rescue except it is usable when in trainer lock. However, it can cause disasters when you start with it.
Your main supporter of the deck. Let’s you discard 1 card from your hand (Magikarp preferably) and draw until you have 6. This is far inferior to Felicity’s Drawing as you can only discard 1, and you will most likely draw less than Felicity’s Drawing.
Another key supporter. Let’s you search 3 basic Pokémon. It will let you discard 2 Magikarp immediately (Regice, Magikarp, Magikarp).
This card is great as a lot of your basic Pokémon have low HP and will get easily KO’d. (Magikarp only has 30 HP, Sableye only 60 etc..) Also, when Gyarados is KO’d, you can Cynthia’s Feeling for 8 cards to recover your Gyarados easier.
Broken Time Space
Self explanatory. A must in all stage 1/2 decks. Allows turn 1 evolution and speeds up the deck tremendously.
The card that makes Gyarados one of the fastest recovery decks. Having 4 in the deck means that you will most likely have it in your hand during mid-late game when your Gyarados is KO’d. Pokémon Rescue for that Magikarp, search for your Gyarados in your deck, and your Gyarados is back on the field (assuming BTS is in play).
Super Scoop UP
Allows you to pick up your Gyarados to heal, reuse Uxie and get a Pokémon out of the Active Spot.
Let’s you get any Pokémon in the deck that is not a LV.X
Helps you to survive a lone Magikarp start or Sableye start and helps avoid the dreaded donk. Attach, search for 2 basic and put them on your bench. Donk avoided!
Since you will never attach to Gyarados to attack, you use Warp Energy to retreat your active Pokémon for free basically, also with the Triumphant set, it will play a huge role in this deck (will explain further down).
Some people like to run it, but I don’t. It is half of a warp point. When you attach to your active Pokémon, your opponent has to switch their active with one of their benched.
What about the other 6-13 open slots for the deck?
When you see the number of cards in the skeleton list, you can see that you have a lot of options for techs. I’ll talk about some of the techs currently used and some techs that will be used when Triumphant is officially released.
Crobat G + Poké Turn
This is used in almost every Gyarados deck. Some may use 4 PlusPowers to squeeze in 1 more tech or run all 3 (Crobat G, Poké Turn and PlusPowers) to do huge amounts of damage. With Super Scoop Ups already in the deck, adding Crobat G with 4 Poké Turns allows you to drop up to 9 damage counters on any Pokémon, using the Poké-Power “Flash Bite”. It also has free retreat, which is always great.
1-1 Line of Luxray GL LV.X
This is only viable if you choose to run the Crobat G + Pokéturn line. Luxray GL LV.X’s Poké-Power “Bright Look” will basically give your Gyarados deck a little bit of sniping power as you will be dragging stuff up to the Active Spot to KO it with Gyarados. This is very good as you can drag up that dreadful Vileplume UD to Knock it Out, getting you out of the trainer lock.
1-1 Line of Dialga G LV.X
This is a newer tech with the release of the Undaunted set. Dialga G LV.X’s Poké-Body “Time Crystal” will shut off all non Pokémon SP’s Poké-Body, which means that Vileplume UD just became a dead card that serves no purpose. This allows you to use all your trainers once again. However, it is less versatile than Luxray GL LV.X as it is only viable against Poké-Bodied Pokémon, and there aren’t that many in this format posing any big threat.
Due to the deck only allowing 1 attacker at a time to be on the field, this is a great card. Mesprit’s Poké-Power “Psychic Bind” locks your opponent’s Poké-Power next turn when you play it from your hand. This is great when your opponent is trying to recover by using Uxie or any other Poké-Power. It is also great against SP decks as you will be stopping Poké-Powers like “Bright Look” and “Healing Breath”. It is especially great because you already run 4 Super Scoop Ups to reuse them.
This is probably the most interesting tech right now. With the release of Triumphant and Gengar Prime, you will always have that chance of getting your Gyarados sent to the Lost Zone. In that case, you can play your Mew Prime, send it up active and use Gyarados’ attack “Tail Revenge” for up to 120 if all 4 Magikarp are in the discard pile. Wait what? Your probably wondering, how Mew Prime can use Gyarados’ attack? Well Mew Prime’s Poké-Body “Lost Link” let’s you use any Pokémon’s attack in the Lost Zone (still need to fit the energy cost), and with Gyarados’ 0 energy attack, it is a great tech late game. You can also use Mew Prime’s attack “See Off”. It let’s you put 1 Pokémon from your deck into the Lost Zone for 1 psychic energy. However, I would not try to use Mew Prime’s attack as it is highly likely that it will die the next turn.
Remember what I said above about Warp Energy and how it will be even better with the new set “Triumphant”? Seeker is the reason why. Seeker is a supporter that let’s you and your opponent pick up 1 benched Pokémon (you pick first). So why is this good? Well first of all, let’s say your Gyarados is dying and has an Expert Belt attached. You can Warp Energy, to send it to the bench, drop BTS (or if you already have 1 in play, skip this), use Seeker to pick your Gyarados up, and play it all back down with no damage on it. Essentially it’s a 100% Super Scoop Up for your benched and giving you a chance to win with a donk if your opponent only has 2 Pokémon in play. It can also be used to re-use Crobat G, Uxie, Azelf, Regice and Combee SF. You should run at least 2 Seekers.
A trainer card from Triumphant that is getting the most hype from Gyarados players. Junk Arm let’s you discard 2 cards from your hand to pick up 1 trainer card other than Junk Arm from your discard pile. This is good as you can discard your 2 Magikarp to pick up cards like Luxury Ball to use it again. However, during early game, when you want your Magikarp in the grave, you will rarely have a trainer in your discard pile, making it pretty much useless early game (even more if Spiritomb is in play). However, it shines during late game when you want to re-use those Expert Belts or Pokémon Rescues. Therefore, no more than 2 should be used in the deck.
Rescue Energy is a great recovery card for Gyarados. When a Pokémon with Rescue Energy attached is KO’d, the Pokémon is returned back to the hand rather than to the discard pile. I’m pretty sure that you only pick up the very top card so you would only be getting your Gyarados back. However, this is huge as you now don’t have to look for another Gyarados in the deck and you will almost never have to run a 4-4 line of Gyarados.
Special D Energy
Special D Energy allows you to occasionally donk with Sableye and let’s you attack with Uxie. However, this isn’t as great anymore as many of the 50 HP Pokémon (Baltoy etc..) that used to be used in almost every deck are now out of the format.
Uxie LV.X further helps your draw power with the Poké-Power “Trade-Off”. It let’s you look at the top 2 cards of your deck, you pick one that goes to your hand and the other is returned to the bottom of the deck. This card should be ran in every Gyarados deck.
What are the Match Ups like?
50/50 I would say. Luxray GL LV.X does have the type advantage, however, they need to have Lucario GL in play with the help of a Crobat G drop to 1HKO your Gyarados unless they are using “Trash Bolt”. However, you are still 1HKOing anything they send your way, making the match up pretty even.
60/40 in favor of DialgaChomp. Dialga is a pretty big tank, and you will have a hard time trying to KO that one Dialga G LV.X that is constantly getting healed by Garchomp C LV.X. It takes Gyarados 2 shots to kill Dialga G LV.X without the help of Crobat G, unless Dialga G LV.X has special metal energies attached. Dialga G LV.X will also take 2 shots to kill your Gyardos, however, DialgaChomp has much more consistent healing power.
99/1 in favor of Gyarados. This is your “auto-win” match up. You are hitting Donphan Prime’s weakness, while being resistance to him. You will one shot any Donphan Prime with “Tail Revenge”. However, watch out for those donks! Don’t be afraid to put in more basics than you need to.
50/50. Depending on the tech you have, you might have a bit of an advantage but “Fainting Spell” will get you hard if you don’t watch out. I might say that the match up is 60/40 in favor of Gyarados as you can “Tail Revenge” for 90, then use your Uxie to finish off Gengar to avoid “Fainting Spell”. Also, Regice helps you big time as you will move their Spiritomb from the Active Spot to get set up faster than VileGar.
70/30 in favor of Gyarados. Machamp is not a great deck against stage 1/2 decks. Machamps got a pretty mediocre attack that will rarely 1HKO your Gyarados where as you will most likely 1HKO Machamp with the help of Expert Belt and Crobat G. However, watch out for the donks and Machamps “Rage” attack.
vs. VileGar with Gengar Prime tech
60/40 in favor of VileGar. Maybe I should of done this with the VileGar, but meh, I’ll put them separately. Gengar Prime is Gyarados’ arch enemy. If you make the mistake of not being able to get rid of Magikarp from your hand, they will get sent to the Lost Zone by Gengar Prime, reducing your damage output by 30.
This is it for my Gyarados analysis! Thanks for reading, and good luck to everyone attending Triumphant prerelease.