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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


 Gyarados #4/123

HeartGold & SoulSilver

Date Reviewed: 03.02.10

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.75
Limited: 3.00

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

Gyarados HGSS


Gyarados SF went from being a joke to one of the best decks in the Format, thanks to some brilliantly creative deckbuilding, pioneered by the French players at Worlds 2009. Could this Gyarados be another sleeper hit? Let’s see what it has to offer.


Well, the first thing it offers is that massive 130 HP. Don’t get too excited though. The return to x2 Weakness in the HGSS set means that Gyarados is lumbered with the worst handicap of all, with double Lightning Weakness making it easy prey for Luxray. The Retreat cost of three doesn’t help your chances of getting a damaged Gyarados out of harm’s way either. On the plus side, a Resistance of 20 to Fighting means that Donphan Prime has yet another Gyarados in the format that it would struggle to KO.


The key exploitable aspect of the old Gyarados was its ability to hit hard without needing any Energy whatsoever. This new version takes a different (and less profitable) route. Gyarados’ first attack, Hydro Splash, is an effect-free 50 for [W][C][C]. Nothing much to say about that, except that it obviously offers a terrible return for a three Energy investment. Things get a bit more interesting with Hyper Beam, though. Add another Water Energy to Hydro Splash’s cost, and you get a much nicer 80 damage. Not only that, you get a very nice bonus: you discard an Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon.


Energy removal effects are never bad, and can be devastating to a deck which relies on Double Colourless Energy or Special Metal. At worst, they will set your opponent back a turn in terms of their Energy attachments. Unfortunately, removal is much less useful against low Energy decks like Donphan and Jumpluff and the effect can be prevented altogether via the simple method of attaching an Unown G. This makes Hyper Beam a much less attractive option for its very high cost than it first appears.


Although it isn’t as terrible as it seems at first glance, this Gyarados is completely outclassed by its older, faster version from Stormfront. As long as low Energy decks exist in the format, it falls somewhat short of being competitive.




Modified: 2 (putting four Energy on a Pokémon that is a OHKO for Luxray is not a bright idea)

Limited: 3 (decent HP and attack power in a slow format)


Hello again, Pojo readers! Today's Card of the Day is Gyarados from the HeartGold and SoulSilver set.

Gyarados is a Stage 1 Water Pokemon. Being a Water-type right now nets you decent support, but can be a problem if there are many Lightning or Grass types in your area, depending on Weakness. Additionally, there are other Gyarados that are currently played in the metagame:

Gyarados SF is somewhat popular, as is Gyarados G. How does this one compare?

Gyarados HGSS has 130 HP, which is really great for a Stage 1. It is unfortunate, however, that Magikarp is almost always a 30 HP basic, so that's something to think about too. Double Weakness to Lightning is awful with Luxray GL and the emergence of Ampharos Prime.

Resistance to Fighting is always nice, especially with Machamp SF and Donphan Prime. A Retreat Cost of 3 is awful, so use Switch or Warp Point.

Gyarados has no Poke-Powers or Poke-Bodies, but just two attacks. The first attack, Hydro Splash, deals a vanilla 50 damage for [WCC], which is very overpriced even though the attack can be powered up by Double Colorless Energy. The second attack, Hyper Beam, does 80 damage for [WWCC] and discards an Energy attached to the Defending Pokemon. 80 damage for 4 energy is still very overpriced even with the Colorless energy requirements, and the discard effect isn't quite enough to justify its use.

Modified: 1.5/5 Even though it has high HP, the attacks are way too expensive to really be useful. One could theoretically use this in a Rain Dance deck where Energy placement isn't really a problem, but there are generally better alternatives.

Limited: 3/5 Gyarados isn't actually that bad here. Colorless energy requirements, high HP, and decent damage output (for Limited) make this a pretty nice pick, although the attacks are still expensive.

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