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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


- S&M: Burning Shadows
- #BUS 33

Date Reviewed:
Sept. 22, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.65
Expanded: 2.93
Limited: 3.01

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


Gyarados has always been a bit of a crazy character, eh? And this one wants to make up for its fallen Magikarp brethren! 

At least, that's what I'm seeing from this guy. His first attack is Venting Anger, and for 2 Energy, it does 50 damage for each Magikarp in the discard pile. Now immediately you ought to see a problem with this attack: the need for Magikarp. If the Pokemon Company aimed for things to get messy, they'd let you use any number of Magikarp that you'd like, but since that's obviously never gonna happen, you're stuck with the 4 Magikarp in your deck. You need one of them to actually put down Gyarados, which means this attack does up to 150 damage on its own. Which is novel and all, but how are you supposed to get those other Magikarp to the discard in a timely fashion? 

Sadly in Standard, that's difficult, considering we don't have the instant Battle Compressor, and there's no Archie's to bypass the need for a Magikarp and instantly play Gyarados for up to 200 damage per strike, making him far more competent than ever in Expanded! But Standard drags, and that means it's less likely that you'll have 3 Magikarp in the discard early on unless you're really dedicated to pitching cards to the discard. 

Splash Burn in theory is meant to make-up for this, since it's a 4-for-160 move which deals 30 damage to your Benched Pokemon. Hilariously, you could use this move to KO spare Magikarp and send them to the discard for extra power in Venting Anger, but then you're giving your opponent free Prizes while maybe getting 1 or 2 in exchange? Yeah, bad deal in my opinion. 

Gyarados might see some play here and there, but don't expect to do more than any other rogue deck in the environment - he'll take a swing or two, but he won't dominate. 


Standard: 2/5 (he's got some potential at least) 

Expanded: 3/5 (but he really needs the right support to work up to that potential) 

Limited: 2.5/5 (something that he lacks in Standard) 

Arora Notealus: At least he can continue raging on. 

Weekend Thought: Thoughts on the potential of these cards? Perhaps there's a combination of cards that makes them viable? Or maybe they're too niche for their won good to see practical play?


We close out the week with Gyarados (SM: Burning Shadows 33/147).  It is a Water-Type Stage 1 Pokémon with 150 HP, Lightning Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CCCC], the attack “Venting Anger” for [CC] - which does 50 damage per Magikarp in your discard pile - and the attack “Splash Burn” for [WWCC] - which does 160 damage to the opponent’s Active and 30 to each of your own Benched Pokémon.  Being a Water-Type is great if Volcanion-EX is big in your area and in general because they’ve got a nice pool of support.  Being a Stage 1 is alright; the game is (thankfully) in a place where being a Basic is best but the rest have at least some chance.  Lightning Weakness is not a good thing, it probably isn’t the worst right now.  No Resistance is the worst, but typical as most Pokémon lack Resistance and Gyarados has been a part of that club since the BW-era.  The Retreat Cost of [CCCC] is bad, but might not be the worst because even [CC] can be tricky to pay, and by [CCC] manually retreating is usually out; costing one [C] more only matters for attacks that lower (but not zero out) Retreat Costs or very, very rare situations.  Venting Anger has a solid damage-to-Energy-to-Magikarp ratio; its Energy cost, even a Double Colorless Energy can take Gyarados from nothing to attacking with a single manual Energy attachment.  Karen can be a pain as no Magikarp in the discard pile means no damage but doing 50, 100, 150 or even 200 damage is pretty great.  Splash Burn is brute force, with a drawback that shouldn’t be too hard to manage thanks to Bench protecting effects.  Managing it is worth the hassle, as before Choice Band, Professor Kukui, etc. you’re swinging for 160 damage.  Double Colorless Energy, Aqua Patch, and Choice Band you’re taking out almost everything that isn’t a Mega Evolution, Evolved Pokémon-GX, BREAK Evolution of a Stage 2 or enjoying some sort of defensive buff. 

You actually can run this Gyarados without Magikarp in the Expanded Format; Archie’s Ace in the Hole might be viable.  Of course, I’d only recommend that approach if you’re still running Magikarp to feed Venting Anger.  All four Magikarp in the discard pile enables OHKO’s of most cards, with a Choice Band and Professor Kukui leaving only those with HP buffs or other protective effects able to survive.  Of course, Magikarp may end up in your Prizes, so shooting for 2HKO’s may be a more sound strategy.  In the Standard Format, you’re definitely going to have to Evolve, and maybe even pack Wally so you can try to constantly keep three Magikarp in the discard pile.  There are two Magikarp that catch my eye: XY: Evolutions 33/108 and SM: Burning Shadows 32/147.  Both are Water-Type Basic Pokémon with 30 HP, Lightning Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], and a single attack.  30 HP is the minimum printed, so these Pokémon are especially fragile.  XY: Evolutions 33/10 has the attack “Flail” for [W], which does 10 damage times the number of damage counters on itself; not impressive for use with Magikarp itself, but it is combo time.  Evolve into Gyarados and combo with Celebi-EX, Shrine of Memories, or some other pending releases.  150 HP isn’t too easy to OHKO, but coming close means Gyarados gains access to a solid, single Energy blow… that doesn’t care about Karen.  The Water-Type has some decent healing tricks, and Max Potion is an option thanks to Aqua Patch and/or Double Colorless Energy if your opponent tries for a more even 2HKO.  So what about SM: Burning Shadows 32/147?  For [W] it can attack with “Splashing Dodge” to do 10 and flip a coin; if “heads”, Splashing Dodge will protect Magikarp from attack effects and damage during your opponent’s next turn; less impressive, but good when you’re desperate and it does not require additional combo pieces. 

There are a couple other Gyarados to consider as well: BW: Legendary Treasures 31/113, XY: Ancient Origins 20/98 (also available as Generations 23/83 or XY: Black Star Promos XY109), and XY: Ancient Origins 21/98 (also available as XY: Black Star Promos XY60).  Why these three?  All are Water-Type Stage 1 Pokémon with 130 HP, Lightning Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CCC], and two attacks.  BW: Legendary Treasures 31/113 has two attacks: “Howling Rampage” costs [WC] and does 20 damage per Prize card taken by either player, while “Hydro Splash” costs [WWCCC] and does 120 damage. We reviewed it about three and a half years ago; things have changed just enough since then that it deserves a second glance, but only a glance.  Howling Rampage still has nice damage potential and Aqua Patch with Archie’s Ace in the Hole or Wally could even spring it on an opponent from nowhere, and doing upwards of 220 damage for two Energy is nice.  It won’t care if your main strategy won’t work but it isn’t suited to being the main attacker itself, and each copy of it is one less of the other Gyarados you may run.  XY: Ancient Origins 20/98 can use “Berserker Splash” for [WCC] to do 80 to the opponent’s Active and 10 to all Benched Pokémon (both players).  For [WCCC] it can use “Aqua Tail” to do 90 damage and flip a coin for each [W] Energy attached; “tails” means nothing while each “heads” adds 30 damage.  Neither attack is great, but there’s no gimmick here your opponent can sabotage.  I’m not seeing a review for it… 

…which I thought might be because XY: Ancient Origins 21/98 had stolen the limelight, but I’m not seeing a review for it, either.  This Gyarados has the Ancient Trait “Θ Double”, allowing you to equip it with two Tools at once.  It has the attack “Full Retaliation” for [CC], which does 30 damage plus another 30 per damage counter on each of your Benched Magikarp.  [WWCC] allows it to use “Thrash” to do 100 damage and flip a coin: “heads” means +30 damage, while “tails” means doing 30 damage to itself.  Entire decks were built around “Full Retaliation” and proved competitive!  Rotation removed it from Standard Format play, though, and I think things like Trevenant BREAK are going to keep it from having much hope in Expanded.  You might mix it with today’s Gyarados, in which case I’m guessing you open with Full Retaliation and shift to Venting Anger if your opponent starts to slaughter your Magikarp.  That doesn’t change much of what I said about Trevenant BREAK or similar decks being an issue, the setup required to optimize Full Retaliation means trying it the other way round isn’t a great solution either.  Thrash might still be a fallback option for Karen decks but for that price, Gyarados (SM: Burning Shadows 33/147) can just use Splash Burn. 


Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 3.25/5 

Limited: 3.75/5 


Gyarados might have the chops to hold down a deck again; Standard lacks some of the killer combos that can help it out but Expanded adds more hurdles, so it gets only a small score bump.  The big issue is that with a similar level of support, a lot of Water-Types seem like they could star in functional or even competitive decks; without things like Aqua Patch (and Splash Burn) to act as a fallback, I’d be hesitant to try relying on Venting Anger as there are too many counters to this kind of deck.  Then again, I’m a Night March player so maybe I’m overestimating such things.  For the Limited Format, Magikarp may be in short supply and other than Sophocles, the only way they can hit the discard pile is through being KO’d, though Splash Burn is still serviceable. 

Oh, and if you were wondering, it made my personal Top 25 as my 16th place pick, which makes it effectively the 26th place pick for the site list… sort-of-but-not-really.


Today’s COTD before you enjoy your weekend is Gyarados!  This one has an even higher HP than its previous Gyarados cards (150 vs 130).  Besides its increased bulk, it even has two good attacks to use.


Venting Anger is a throwback attack to Gyarados’s Tail Revenge attack from DP Stormfront.  For each Magikarp in your discard pile, you do 50 damage!  So if you can get four Magikarp in the discard pile (easy to do with Battle Compressor and other cards that require discard costs), you’ll be able to do 200 damage (230 with Choice Band, 250 with Kukui on top of it), taking care of most Pokemon in the game with some help.  This one costs DCE while the DP version is free.  Magikarp still has an abysmal HP of 30, making it super easy to be OHKOed.


Splash Burn is a nice alternative if Venting Anger isn’t doing as much damage than you hoped.  In this case, it does 160 damage, but with your benched Pokemon taking 30 damage.  So have Mr. Mime or Mountain Ring to prevent bench damage.


Overall, Gyarados brings back an familiar concept, but I don’t expect it to work in this format.  Be aware of the risks (especially Magikarp, not being able to Archie on time, drawing the right cards in general; needs DCE, Choice Band, etc) and you’ll have a fun Pokemon to use!




Standard: 2.5/5

Expanded: 3/5

Limited: 1.5/5


When a Gyarados left the scene as a very strong and efficient attacker which struggles with resource management, another Gyarados enters the scene, which is similar to the old one, but not the same.

The first thing one'll notice is that the new Gyarados has 20 more HP than the old one. However this new one can only attach 1 Pokémon Tool to it, because it doesn't have the Theta Double Ancient Trait. So its just one Choice Band and that's it. It has a monstrous 4 retreat cost, but when you play this Gyarados, you won't think about retreating, just like the old one, as you are just simply smashing through things for a single DCE.

Venting Anger is your main 1 DCE attack, just like the old one. This deals 50x the number of Magikarps in your discard pile. In Expanded this will be a wallop, as you can just use Battle Compressor to remove the Gyarados line, use the Archie's to get a Gyarados in play while discarding all 4 of the Magikarps, and you just pummel for 200+ (250 tops) for 1 DCE. In Standard however, you can't do that. You can only discard 3 Magikarps at any one time, since you need one to evolve from, and so you can only deal 150 (200 tops) with your beloved Gyarados. Well, that's quite something is it? But when you realize the old Gyarados can do up to 260/290 damage, this new one may just be a worse version of it. At least you won't have to worry about spread attackers taking up to 3 prizes from your poor Magikarps, keeping the prize trade in your favor.

But there we seen the most crippling part of this Gyarados deck. You will need another Water type partner, so that if Gyarados goes down you have something to buff yourself up with. I think something like a Mega Gyarados EX can do nicely, but it gives up 2 prizes. Maybe something like Tapu Koko (SM30 Promo)? It can be good for Gyarados. And it may just be so. With all this in mind, this Gyarados, although a bit weaker than the old one damage wise, had entered a much more convenient meta for it to blast apart.


Standard: 3.1/5 (Not exactly the Gyarados of old, but it can still do the job.)

Expanded: 2.5/5 (The old Gyarados, which is a million times better, is in this format. So GG to this Gyarados)

Limited: 4.3/5 (4 Magikarps and maybe 2 Gyarados isn’t that hard to get, but it does require some luck. But when you do, you have the most efficient offensive deck in the format.)

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