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In the moonlight n°15: From Magikarp to Gyarados

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In the moonlight n°15: From Magikarp to Gyarados

Post by Champion Blackwolf on Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:04 am


Who doesn't know Magikarp? That first generation fish, able to survive anywhere but still the ultimate weakling. There's even a challenge that consists in finishing a Pokemon game with only Magikarp. The first thing to look at it its base stats. Total 200, one of the lowest (but Sunkern takes the cake). Magikarp's only decent stat is speed with a base of 80 (good for a LC), but it doesn't help it in any way, because it can't be used for attacking (10 and 15 base offensive stats), and it can't stall either because of a 20 base HP, 55 base defense, 20 special defense. Then, you have its abilities. You can choose between Swift Swim (speed doubles in rain) and Rattled (speed raises by one stage when hit by a move super-effective to psychic). See? All it does is raise its speed, already high and totally useless. Finally let's look at the moves: Hydro Pump, Bounce, Flail, Tackle, Celebrate, Happy Hour, Splash. That is its entire movepool. Really impressive… Anyway Magikarp is not even worth writing so many lines, all you need to do is: if you rely on it, you're doomed.

Comparing it to its evolved form: Gyarados is stronger than a fully evolved starter. It has a much larger movepool and stats that don't look like a joke: total 540, HP 95, Atk 125, SpD 100. Its base speed, however, increases by ONE. Like, why?
Gyarados has access to good abilities. First, you have Intimidate, which lowers the opposing attack by one stage. I remember these guys with two or three Intimidate users in their team and constantly switching them in and out… Absolutely shameless. Anyway, it also has access to Moxie, increasing its own attack by one stage every time it KOes something. Oh, and it changes its typing as well, for water/flying. Evolution gone right.

Gen 6 gave Gyarados even more power through a mega-evolution. Mega-Gyarados gains a big attack, defense and special defense boost (30 each), and a +10 in base special attack but nobody ever uses special Gyarados in PvP, which leaves it with 95/155/109/70/130/81. You want him to have one more advantage? OK, here's its ability, Mold Breaker, you can't use any ability to prevent or reduce the damage or effects of Mega-Gyarados' moves. No Water Absorb, Storm Drain, Wonder Guard, Levitate, Solid Rock… It also changes its typing (again), this time for water/dark, changing the double electric weakness to a single electric weakness, that Mega-Gyarados can take thanks to its new bulk. By combining the bulk and the use of Dragon Dance, you get one true beast.

How to play them?

Magikarp: LC tier. Don't. Just don't. You can try to set rain then switch Magikarp in, rely on Swift Swim + Hydro Pump + eviolite, it still doesn't stand a chance.

Gyarados : UU tier. It was OU when I first wrote the article in French, but it has been moved down, probably because its mega-evolution was used more often. With a low defense, it needs Intimidate most of the time, but I don't like that ability at all and keep running Moxie and place it against a special attacker instead (or a staller). About the item, I'd say leftovers or life orb. Open with Dragon Dance, then unload your Waterfall (120 with water STAB) and your coverage moves, such as Crunch, Ice Fang or Earthquake. You can also give it Bounce, a flying move that hits in two turns and makes it invulnerable during the first one. Power 127 with flying STAB, and it can even paralyze, but it lacks accuracy (85%). Also, you can try Outrage in case of dragons, but that's its sole purpose, since Waterfall is just as powerful with STAB and that Gyarados can't get confused after three Waterfalls.

If you're uncomfortable with the use of dragon dance and exposing yourself to damaging moves with a low physical bulk and a double weakness, you can also scarf it and use it to finish off an injured Pokemon, activating Moxie and enabling Gyarados to sweep, though I've hardly ever seen a scarfed Gyarados.

Mega-Gyarados: BL tier, therefore allowed in OU and higher. You can start with Intimidate then go mega in the first turn, setting up with Dragon Dance twice then destroy the opponent's team, you don't need Moxie when you have Dragon Dance and enough bulk to support it. Mega or not, keep the same moves. Just don't forget that an opponent may have a focus sash, survive an attack then hit hard enough to take Gyarados down (it has taken some damage while setting up). Don't forget Mach Punch users either (like Technician Breloom), or Pranksters (ewww) with Thunder Wave, they can mess up your sweep. Avoid Stealth Rock as well.
Magikarp warned us: “I swear to God when I evolve, I'm going to kill you all!” It didn't lie.

By Champion Blackwolf. I do not own the images. Next topic: Mewtwo. Don't expect it soon, it's rather long.

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Re: In the moonlight n°15: From Magikarp to Gyarados

Post by Woyaojinkela on Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:51 am

Nice article. IMO put a joke smogon analysis for magikarp there XD

Click Here
My analysis of magikarp
epic battle
second epic battle

[rand] Laughing  Laughing  Laughing  Laughing  Laughing [/rand]



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