Red Gyarados (HeartGold & SoulSilver HS 123) – Card of the Day

pokebeach.comHey guys, Captain here with another card of the day. This card was requested by a couple people in the CoTD request thread (I encourage you to request cards that you’re interested in) and it’s the red Gyarados from HeartGold & SoulSilver.

A few months ago when the HS-on rotation was announced, this was considered to be a possible tech against Donphan. Sure, it wasn’t the greatest option, but it was still capable of 1-shotting it, and could also 1HKO Reshiram.

Its stats are actually pretty nice. 130 HP for a Stage 1 is very solid and water typing is quite advantageous. The Lightning weakness isn’t that bad (Zekrom would steamroll it with a PlusPower anyway, so it’s really only Magnezone’s job significantly easier), Fighting resistance is very nice, and 3 retreat is quite heavy.

Gyarados’ first attack, Thrash, is a bit flippy though actually not quite so important. For 1 of any energy, it can deal 50 (with heads) or 30 and then 20 to itself (with tails). It could be useful in wearing Donphan Primes down seeing as it’s able to resist Donphan’s attacks as well as afford some self-damage, but would be fairly ineffective against a Reshiram.

The other attack, Heavy Storm, deals 70 vanilla damage and costs WCCC. This is rather expensive for just 70 damage, but it happens to 1-shot Donphan Prime, Reshiram, and even Typhlosion. That’s not too shabby since those are 3 very powerful and common Pokémon. The problem is still the cost, though. It would take at least 3 turns worth of attaching energy to power up (unless you happen to have acceleration like Typhlosion or Emboar), and even then you’d need either Water or Rainbow Energy teched, as well a Double Colorless Energy to spare.

pokebeach.comThe fact of the matter is that as useful this attack could be, it would be much better if it cost one less C energy. Even so, there’s also Samurott which has several advantages over Gyarados. For one, it has a cheaper attack that deals 70 damage and costs CCC, which means it can be powered up much faster and also doesn’t require you to tech in some energy.

Samurott also has a Retreat Cost of 2 rather than 3, and while it lacks Gyarados’ resistance to Fighting, its Ability reduces 20 damage regardless of type.

Samurott being stage 2 makes it a bit harder to tech in and pull off, but not by all that much. Besides being stage 2, it’s superior in Gyarados in basically every other way and even costs the same amount or even less (depending on the store).

One last thing worth mentioning is that Oshawott is much better than Magikarp. Magikarp can be a huge liability for Yanmega snipes or even early donks, while Oshawott can at least take a bit of damage.

So because of all of this, I’m going to have to give Gyarados a 2.5 out of 5. It has some interesting potential, but also some serious drawbacks and is mostly outclassed by Samurott. The artwork, however, is very nice and I personally think it’s one of the coolest looking cards in the HGSS set.

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Reader Interactions

7 replies

  1. tim h

    I’d give this card a 1.5 out of 5.

    I overhyped this card for being a donphan counter, but you do 40-80 damage on each hit. That’s terrible!

    Depending on your rating system, people may disagree – but this card is useless. In the current metagame, I would never put this card into any of my decks, ever, in any circumstance… which is my reasoning for such a low score.

    • DrMime  → tim

      Funny…as I was reading this COTD, I was thinking the exact same thing. I remember posting in the 6P forums that Red Gyarados was a much better Donphan counter than Yanmega in Zekrom decks. Wow, how wrong I was. The second Magikarp hits the field, you can kiss it goodbye.

  2. Kyle Lane

    The art of the card is cool, other than that it’s a beer coaster.  1.5/5

  3. Manny Z. ^w^

    Speaking from experience, this Gyarados just makes most decks very clunky for the techs. I tried using it as a Donphan counter for a Speed Zekrom variant, but it just felt too slow even with Pachirisu and Shaymin. You would still need one extra turn to attach a fourth energy card. Magikarp alone is just garbage at 30 HP, but then again, all of them are. Pokemon that are 30 HP are easy targets if they are on the Bench, so it’s just pointless to even try this one.

    All in all, this Red Gyarados makes me long for my old Gyarados deck from last format, but other than that, it’s terrible. 1/5.

  4. Anonymous

    Now that I look at it, maybe I rated it a bit too high (I hate number-based ratings anyway since they’re very arbitrary and depend on the reviewer) but I’d probably give it a 2 or even a 1.5.

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