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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Red Gyarados

HeartGold & SoulSilver

Date Reviewed: 02.08.10

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.17
Limited: 2.67

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

Baby Mario
Top 4 UK Nats

Red Gyarados (HGSS)


Woo hoo! A new set to review, and not a moment too soon. We really were scraping the bottom of the Arceus barrel last week.


New set reviews are exciting but tough, as it is hard to always predict the impact of an untested card on the format, and easy to miss combos and possibilities. These cards are not going to see any play until States, but hopefully there will be plenty in the set to inspire you with your deckbuilding.


We kick off with a review of the Secret Rare Red Gyarados. I got one of these at a prerelease and it brought back memories of catching one in Pokémon Silver, thanks to the wise advice of Lance. Am I going to be putting it in a deck, or using it for binder bling, though?


Red Gyarados (not its official name, but that’s what I’m calling it), has a huge 130 HP (great), a double Weakness to Luxray (errr . . . I mean Lightning . . . either way, that’s not good), and a handy Fighting Resistance. The atrocious Pokémon also has a retreat cost of three which is . . . well . . . atrocious.


Red Gyarados’s first attack, Thrash has a nice base damage of 30 for the cheap cost of [C]. There is a big risk/reward payoff with this attack though: you flip a coin and, if heads you do and extra 20 damage (50 for one = nice!), but if you flip tails, Gyarados will do 20 damage to itself. You could always make the most of the self-damage by attaching a Memory Berry and using Magikarp MT’s Flail attack, though if you are going to do that, why not just use Gyarados MT and do even more damagewithout the need for a Tool? The second attack, Heavy Storm, sends all Spell and Trap cards to the Graveyard (yes, I just made a Yu Gi Oh joke) . . . no, really, it just does an overcosted 70 damage for four Energy . . . sorry.


Well, the good news is that you won’t need to hunt down multiple copies of this rare card for your deck because, quite honestly, it is easily outclassed by Gyarados SF, which can actually take a hit from Luxray thanks to its +30 Weakness, and do more damage for no Energy cost. The MT Gyarados is better than Red Gyarados too. Heck, even the Rare Holo from HGSS is more playable than this (and it isn’t playable at all).


Looks like my Red Gyarados will be staying in mint, never-played condition!




Modified: 1.5 (nostalgic binder candy)

Limited: 2 (big HP is sometimes good enough here, though the X2 Weakness hurts)


Hello, Pojo readers! We are beginning our reviews of cards from the HeartGold and SoulSilver expansion this week. Today's Card of the Day is one of a secret rares from the new expansion, the Red Gyarados.

Gyarados is a Stage 1 Water Pokemon that evolves from Magikarp. Being a Water type is pretty decent right now, and is going to get a whole lot better in the future, with Feraligatr Prime and other fun Water cards from the new set. 130 HP on a Stage 1 is very high, and is one of this card's strong points. Every Weakness in HGSS is a x2 weakness, and a x2 weakness to Lightning is very bad (Ampharos Prime and Luxray GL come to mind). Resistance to Fighting is nice, and a Retreat Cost of 3 is expensive, so be ready to use Switch or Warp Point.

Gyarados's first attack, Thrash, does 30 damage for [C], but then can either add more damage or deal damage to yourself on a coin flip. Doing 50 damage for a single Energy is really nice, but dealing damage to yourself obviously isn't. Overall, a somewhat inconsistent attack.

To finish Gyarados's attacks, Heavy Storm deals 70 damage for a very expensive [WCCC]. The cost is brought down a bit if you use the newly-reprinted Double Colorless Energy, and can be accelerated by Feraligatr Prime's Rain Dance. Thus, I think this card's use will largely depend on Rain Dance: If people use Rain Dance (they probably will), this might see some play as a sturdy attacker.

Modified: 2/5 I think in the current Modified environment, Gyarados's attacks are too expensive. However, I think this may see some play, depending on how sets end up rotating later this year.

Limited: 2.75/5 High HP and mostly Colorless Energy requirements are nice, but Thrash has a chance of hurting yourself and Heavy Storm is still very slow. Even still, if you power this up, it will be very hard to beat. Just watch out for Raichu and Ampharos.


Pokémon Organized Play Tournament Organizer, League Owner, Pokémon Professor and Judge 


HeartGold & SoulSilver, #123


HeartGold & SoulSilver is the start of a new series of sets in the Pokémon Trading Card Game heralding a return to the days of earlier generations.  We begin our study of the set with the red Atrocious Pokémon, Gyarados.


The Water-type Pokémon's 130 HP is high enough to endure attacks and last several turns in battle.


Its first attack, Thrash, deals 30 damage for {C}.  With a coin flip, itu can deal 20 more damage to the Defending Pokémon by getting heads, or deal 20 damage to itself by getting tails.  One Energy for 30 damage is not bad, but you have the probability of the Pokémon attacking the opponent's Pokémon or itself.


Its second attack, Heavy Storm, deals 70 damage for {W}{C}{C}{C}.  Dealing 70 damage is good for hitting up against high HP Pokémon.  Its Attack Cost is atrocious at 4 Energy, 1 which must be {W}.  It can be time consuming to build up the attack.  Using Thrash for several turns while minimizing any self inflicting damage will prepare Gyarados for a Heavy Storm frenzy.


It maintains traditional weakness to {L} and resistance to {F}.  Most Pokémon in HeartGold & SoulSilver have x2 weakness and -20 resistance maximum.



Modified:  3/5

Limited:  3/5

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