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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Gyarados Lv. 52


Date Reviewed: 11.20.08

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.75
Limited: 3.33

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page


Gyarados Lv.52 is a Stage 1 Water Pokémon.  As I don’t know about the value of being a Water Pokémon, I will let you figure that out for yourself based upon your local metagame (or anticipated metagame if heading to a larger venue).  It has 130 HP, which is great: few Stage 1 cards match or beat that, and it matches or is just barely beaten by many Stage 2 and Pokémon Lv.X.  The bottom stats aren’t as nice, but aren’t as rare either: +30 damage from Electric Type Pokémon, which makes even tiny random TecH a concern, -20 Fighting Resistance which should frustrate “speed” based Fighting set ups, and a three Energy Retreat Cost that means you’ll need something to get Gyarados out of the Active Slot if you don’t want it to go down fighting.  I’ll also mention Gyarados classic disadvantage: it Evolves from the lowly Magikarp.  For being a Pokémon that was designed to be “bad”, TPC has given us some very interesting and dare I say, fun Magikarp over the years.  This new one is now exception, and of the legal versions, probably the best at aiding set up: it has a no-Energy required attack that lets you flip a coin until you get tails.  You draw one card for each heads.  As you are already in trouble if you have to attack with Magikarp, you might as well have an extremely luck based attack and hope to benefit from your inevitable loss of a Pokémon.  The Mysterious Treasures Gyarados (also still Modified legal) has the ability to use attacks from its lower Stages, giving you a hard decision about whether to both Gyarados and Magikarp together: the older Magikarp actually has some decent, damage based attacks and would probably work better with it.  You may end up running a copy or two of each version, or just focusing on one set or the other.


Gyarados Lv.52 has a zero Energy attack – Tail Revenge – that hits for 30 damage times the number of Magikarp in your discard pile.  This is probably a better “clean-up/comeback” attack than an opener: you don’t want to dump all your Magikarp into the discard pile since you would then have to retrieve them to set up any new Gyarados, after all.  Even if it meant 90 damage first turn for no Energy.  The second attack is Wreck Havoc for (WC) and I really like it.  You only get 40 damage out of it, but you get another “flip until tails” attack.  This one doesn’t do more damage or draw, but instead discards from your opponent’s deck.  That means, while unlikely, it could win you the game in one shot!  Nearly impossible to do that early game, but late game it could really turn things around.  The damage is decent for such an attack as well.  The last attack on this card is Dragon Beat.  It requires a massive investment of (WWCCC), but hits for a big 100 damage.  Still, that is lacking.  Fortunately, it has an effect as well: if you get heads on a coin flip, you get to discard an Energy card from each of your opponent’s Pokémon.  You’ll probably score a KO with the attack regardless of the flip unless it was a “fresh” or Resistant Defending Pokémon.  While you’d only do the discard half the time, it forces your opponent to risk a broad set up being destroyed or playing in a dangerous manner: committing most (if not all) Energy to the next planned attacker and hoping you can’t force it Active and KO it.


Gyarados appears to be another great Pokémon in this set.  I believe this could carry its own deck, and can’t believe that it couldn’t function as a back-up to another Water Pokémon.  You might want to run both Modified Legal versions together, but you don’t have to and running one or the other might be just as preferable.  I believe this is the strong version, because flipping tails just leaves you with a solid beatstick instead of a dangerously Confused Pokémon (as the old one does with its big attack).




Unlimited: 3/5 – As usual, I must explain why I rate something so high here.  First, one could always try and squeeze it into a Raindance deck, powering up for that big attack with ease and abusing Pokémon Center.  One could run it with Slowking in a Mind Games deck as the main attacker.  I would do the latter, and focus on letting the opponent deck themselves out.  Remember, you don’t have to prevent their Trainers from working.  Puzzle them by letting a Professor Oak (or two) go through, but block anything threatening as your flips allow.  Against a normal, recklessly fast Unlimited deck, your opponent might burn through half their deck before they realize what you’re doing.  From there, it’s just a countdown until you force them to deck out or KO the often smaller Pokémon found in this format.  I don’t expect it to become the new deck to beat, but something fun to shake up the format.


Modified: 3.5/5 – I like where this is headed, but I get the feeling that it will be one of those decks everyone thinks about playing, but no one really wants to risk running.


Limited: 4/5 – Magikarp is normally a huge no-no in this format, but the possibility of a sick payday from a lucky streak of heads is tempting enough to make me at least think about playing Magikarp without its Evolution.  That, in turn, makes the Evolution better.  Here, Wreak Havoc can more easily live up to its name: one or two streaks are all it’ll take to deck someone out pronto, and steady use of the attack would still only probably be five to ten turns.




It is good to see a card that, while heavy on the coin flips, rewards those flips quite well.  I hope to see Gyarados being played a lot.  Hit hard, mess with their deck, and mess with their Energy all using the same big beatstick.



Jigglypuff13 11/20 Gyarados Lv.52 (SF)

Hello, and I'm afraid, due to lack of time, that I will have to make this be another short review. The basics of todays card, the latest version of Gyarados, aren't too bad in all honesty. 130 HP on a Stage 1 is brilliant. Only Blissey (MT) (if my memory serves me correctly) has been able to match that amount on a normal Stage 1, and Wailord (GE) the only one to surpass it (again, if my memory is correct), so Gyarados should survive a hit or two. +30 Lightning Weakness probably won't be too good with Raichu (SF) dealing 100 damage with one attack, and Electivire (SW), which is likely to be played in Raichu and Magnezone decks, just needs 2 heads with it's attack to do the magical 100 damage needed for the OHKO. -20 Fighting Resistance is alright, so will be able to take a hit or two from Machamp (SF) and any other Fighting types that get in it's way (apart from a Ryhperior Lv.X (LA) that discards 3 or more energies with it's first attack). 3 Retreat Cost is slightly harsh though, so make sure you pack at least a couple of Warp Points and/or Switches into your deck to make sure you can get it back to the bench.

Attacks, and first of all, Tail Revenge looks both horrible and nice at the same time. For no energies, it does 30 time the number of Magikarp in your Discard Pile. If you don't put in Felicity's Drawing, then you will have to get your Magikarps KOed, thus letting your opponent draw prizes for each one, before doing your maximum damage of 90. Or, Felicity's and Garchomp Lv.X (MD), allow you to do a max 120. Sounds nice, but requires a little too much effort to really be of any use. Wreak Havoc is too bad I suppose. WC for 40 is alright, but the deck discarding effect is a little iffy really. If you are good with "Flip until you get tails" cards, then you will find Wreak Havoc to be very powerful, especially if you combine it with Rhyperior (DP) for even more deck discarding (or "milling"). However, if, like most of use, you aren't any good with "Flip until you get tails" cards and find they fail 50% (or more) of the time, then you may be slightly more interested in Gyarados's final attack, Dragon Beat. WWCCC is pretty steep for an attack cost (though not quite as bad as DDDDD on Tyranitar (SF) now), and even if the 100 damage isn't enough to tempt you, the possibility of discarding an energy from each of your opponents Pokémon might. Of course, you will probably never actually be able to do the discard from everything since your opponent will probably have bench sitters like Claydol (GE) or Uxie (LA) that won't have any energies attached. Also, the discard is more effect against some decks more that others. For example, I don't think Kingdra (LA) will mind the discard quite as much as, say, a Raichu deck. However, it's just a little too unreliable and costly to really be a good attack.

Combos, and I pretty much mentioned all of them in the anlysis of the attacks. Felicity's Drawing and Garchomp Lv.X (MD) is probably the best one, allowing Tail Revenge to hit the important 120 damage mark, but also allows Gyarados to be powered quickly for a Wreak Havoc or Dragon Beat. However, if you don't go down that route and would prefer the "milling" strategy with Rhyperior and Wreak Havoc, you will have to look after your litte Magikarps, otherwise you will yourself down on prizes very quickly and very easily.

Survivability, well, 130 HP should see it take a couple of hits, but just watch out for those 100 damage dealing Lightning types. Unless you like fried Gyarados for your dinner, that is.

Of course, Gyarados's main weakness is Magikarp. If you can keep this 30 HP Basic alive for just one of your opponents turn or decide to use Rare Candy, then it's not too bad. However, if you are running any Stage 2's, you will not waste too many Rare Candies on Gyarados's, and your opponent will do everything in their power to KO Magikarp ASAP. Snipers and spreaders will be particularly effective at this, as will any deck with a tech Metagross (LA) or at least 1 Poké Blower + pair.


Modified: No matter which way you look at it, this Gyarados is a slow card. You will have to combo it with at least a stage 2 for best effect, and will need 3 energies for that Stage 2 combo, the Stage 2 Lv.X may not need any energies for it or Gyarados to use their attacks, but will need to wait for at least 3 Felcity's Drawing or 5 lots of Lunatone's (GE) (yes, I forgot about it earlier) or similar Poké-Power or a combination of the two to actually then become useful, but that will take too long. These combos are slow enough, so I wouldn't even think about Dragon Beat. Seriously, it's too slow, and will never be used in a really competitive deck, and you can quote me on that if you want. Gyarados wins more than 1 Cities in Masters anywhere, I will put a retraction in another review to give this card a max score. Until then, looks useful, but too slow. 1.5/5

Limited: Not that much more useful here I'm afraid. Tail Revenge becomes useless unless you are willing sacrifice 2 or more Magikarps every game. Wreak Havoc Might be quite nice, but only if you can keep your Magikarps alive. 40 is a great amount, but the effect can be devastating here in a game when people only have 40 cards in their deck. Dragon Beat is, again, an attack to not think about due it's massive energy cost. Get it set up, though, and you will be getting a KO almost every turn, essentially giving you the game (unless your opponent gets something really powerful out here). 2/5

A bit rushed, so I hope that all makes sense.

Thursday's card of the day is Gyarados from Stormfront. As usual let's review stats first 130HP, 3 attacks, a +30 weakness to lightning, a -20 resistance to fighting, and three retreat cost. Now onto his first attack Tail Revenge a free attack that does 30 damage times the number of Magikarp in your discard pile. This attack is really tricky to use because the most damage it could do is 90 because you have one Gyarados out and three Magikarp in your discard pile. Gyarados' second attack Wreak Havoc for two energies one of which has to be water does 40 damage than you flip a coin until you get tails and for each heads discard the top card from your opponent's deck. I like this attack because with Gyarados cards in the past all they had were high damage attacks but this one adds a milling attack ton its arsenal. And his final attack is Dragon Beat for a whopping five energies two of which have to be water does 100 damage plus you flip a coin until you get tails and for each heads you discard an energy attached to one of your opponents' Pokémon. The only problem I have with this attack is the energy cost because five energy is a bit too much for an attack these days but overall besides the attacks cost it's really good it does 100 damage and will potentially discard energy. In conclusion the new Gyarados I kind of like because its attacks provide different ways for the person playing him to go with like what attacks they could use because each of his attacks has a different strategy to it. They could try to deck them with Tail Revenge or they could discard their energy with Dragon Beat there's so many things you can do with this card but now the question is will it see play in the current format.

Modified; 3.25/5- until I see a successful Gyarados deck being played I can't give it a higher rating but its attacks are really annoying

Limited; 3.75/5


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