MRDIF: Gyarados

by Bittyboy72 ~ November 29th, 2010.

What is MRDIF?

I am sure you all have heard of the new popular acronym (at least new to me) BDIF, witch stands for Best Deck In Format. Well I decided instead of writing an article about the Best Deck in Format I would write an article about the Most  Ridiculous Deck in Format, or MRDIF. For this article I chose to write about Gyarados as the MRDIF because I feel it really is!

How Do You Play Gyarados?

I realize that a lot of people already know how to play Gyarados but for those of you who don’t I’ll go over it briefly for you. Basically the goal of Gyarados is to discard Magikarp using cards like Regice and Junk Arm. You may ask “why would I want to get rid of your basics?” Well that’s because Gyarados’s “Tail Revenge” attack does 30 damage times the number of Magikarp in your discard pile for no energy. There are some cases where you do need to use cards like Pokemon Rescue to recover a Magikarp because Gyarados got KOed but you mostly rely on Rescue Energy now to recover Gyarados.

Ways to Play Gyarados!

In all of my experimenting with Gyarados I have found a couple of effect ways to play Gyarados and it is actually quiet versatile now. I have found that the best ways to play it are with Warp Energy and Seeker, just plain Gyarados with Sableye (similar to the original), playing it with heavy Warp Point and Cyclone Energy lines, and also with Giratina and Mesprit.

Warp Energy With Seeker:

I have tested Warp Energy and Seeker the most and I love it! Even though I love it so much it lacks something… I played it at a local City’s and I didn’t do so well (mostly because I played 3 Vilegars) but I still love the deck. Just in case you don’t know how Warp-Seeker Works I’ll explain it a bit it’s pretty self explanatory. The idea is to tank with Gyarados and then heal it instead of recovering Gyarados like usual. You heal by attaching a Warp Energy to Gyarados to force it to the bench then you bring up something with free retreat. After you get a damaged Gyarados to the bench you use Seeker and pick Gyarados back up and lay it back down if you have Broken-Time Space (witch you should) and then retreat your active and continue to attack with Gyarados. This version usually runs less Rescue Energy because of the healing factor but a couple Rescue Energy isn’t a bad idea.

Original:Sableye - SF

I have found a lot of people just run Gyarados like it was originally. By “run it originally” I mean like how the original Gyarados ran where you used Sableye to do a bit of discarding. As you probably know there is no more Felicity’s Drawing so in place of it they use Volker’s Philosophy to discard one then draw cards till there 6 in their hand. Although I don’t really like this method and think that the other ways are more effective, this is still a good way to play the deck. Besides most of the Gyarados lists I looked at played 2 Volker’s Philosophy anyway. This version usually plays a couple Warp Points and has plenty more room for techs if you would rather have a more teched out list.

Heavy Warp Point and Cyclone Energy Lines:

Another version I like a lot is Gyarados with heavy lines of Warp Point and Cyclone Energy. This is a very effective deck and a great way to play Gyarados. The idea of this is that Gyarados is to take a prize a turn. If there is  a tank in your way you Warp Point of Cyclone for something you can easily kill to take a prize. Most of the time this deck runs extremely heavy Crobat G lines and Poke Turns to ensure a KO (or possibly a KOs turn 1) or even a quick DONK. This version of Gyarados tends to do very well and you should definitely watch out for it.

Mesprit and Giratina:

Last but not least we have Gyarados with Mesprit (LA) and Giratina(PL). I really have no idea how to recommend lines for this because a guy at one of our City’s won with this deck and I have no idea what his lines are. If I had to guess I would say 1 Giratina and 2 Mesprits. Please remember that is just my guess but I haven’t got to do any testing with it but I plan to. Sorry about not being able to explain this version but at least you get an idea! Another more common version of Gyarados is Gyarados with just Mesprit (as in no Giratina) and I believe these list tend to do pretty well in tournaments and I believe there was one of these Gyarados at worlds last year.

Deck Staples:

Gyarados has a lot of staples as well. In case you don’t know what a staple is, it is a card that is essential to a deck. Here is a list of some staples:

-4 Magicarp (SF)

-3 Gyarados (SF)

-2-4 Sableye (SF I say 2 depending if you run another starter or not)

-1 Unown Q (MD)

-1 Regice (LA)

-2 Uxie (LA)

-1 Azelf (LA)

– 3 Pokemon Collector (HS)

-1 Bebe’s Search (RR)

-2 Pokemon Rescue (PL)

-2 Rescue Energy (Triumphant)

-3 Broken-Time Space (PL)

-1 Combee (SF)

*NOTE: Please remember that this is a list of what every Gyarados list should run, however the number of each card you play may change depending on what version of Gyarados you choose to play.

Possible Techs:

As I said before Gyarados is a very versatile deck now and can be played many different ways. I went over each version and a couple of the techs above so I may repeat a few below more in deaf.


Seeker is a great tech for Gyarados weather you run Warp Energy or not (although I would highly recommend you do) because it improves your matchup against decks that trainer lock because you can reuse cards like Uxie. Seeker is also a great card now because Gyarados has a huge DONK potential and Seeker could help ensure your DONK by making them pick up their last bench and being stuck with a lone active. Seeker is definitely a tech you should consider!

Dialga G LV.X:                                                                                                                                

Dialga G LV.X is a card that I don’t tech in a lot but everybody tells me it’s great in Gyarados so I thought I should still say something about it. Basically the idea of Dialga is to break yourself out of sticky situations like a Vilegar match where you are trainer locked because Dialgs’s“Time Crystal” Poke-body blocks Spiritomb’s “Keystone Seal” Poke-body as well as Vileplume’s “Allergy Flower” Poke-body, witch both prevent you from playing trainer cards. Please note that Dialga doesn’t really work well without Warp Energy in the deck as well. You could get away with playing Warp Point in this case though because you are blocking their Poke-body that prevents you from playing trainers. Overall Dialga is a decent tech I just thinks it’s more of a personal thing.


Mesprit is a very good card to play in Gyarados because of it’s “Psychic Bind” Poke-Power witch prevents your opponent from using any Poke-powers during their next turn. I did talk about Mesprit above because it is a good card but I would be extremely worried about if you have the bench room to actually play Mesprit on the bench. If you run Mesprit I would definitely run Seeker to help keep your bench from clogging. This is a really great tech for Gyarados though, and in many other decks as well!

Warp Energy:

Warp energy is an extremely good card in Gyarados. This can be used in a lot of situations such as a quick retreat or getting rid of a Regice you starting with. It is also great for if Regice or a high retreat Pokemon gets drug active. Like I said a couple times now if you play Seeker you should probably run 2 or 3 Warp Energy and if you run Warp Energy you should run Seeker as well!


This is a tech that a lot of people find odd in Gyarados. There are 3 main uses for Smeargle in Gyarados mainly because he is a great starter. Another reason Smeargle is good is it gives you some recover late game. You bring Smeargle active and use 2 Supporters a turn to hopefully recover Gyarados. The last reason Smeargle is good is because if you play Warp Energy you can attach a Warp Energy to Gyarados and bring Smeargle active the play Seeker heal and possible use another Supporter or if your opponent uses Seeker in there deck you could use Smeargles “Portrait” Poke-power to use their Seeker. Also if you choose to run Smeargle you should consider playing a second Unown Q.

There are a lot more techs I could go on about but these are the main techs you should consider. On this short list I tried to name ones that would fit into all of the different versions but things like Mesprit won’t fit into every version of Gyarados. Don’t be afraid to try out your own tech ideas either, or tech ideas I haven’t listed.


Gyarados is definitely the Most Ridiculous Deck in Format (MRDIF) by a long shot! I believe Gyarados is mainly so ridiculous because it can be played in so many different ways, shapes, and forms and is definitely a competitive deck. I have also found that Gyarados has very few bad matchups, even Luxchomp is a decent matchup depending on what version of Gyarados you run. Well I hope everyone enjoyed ready my long article about Gyarados and I would love to read any comments and answer any questions you have so be sure to leave a comment bellow!


Category: Card Discussion, Deck Discussion, Deck Workshop, Pokemon Education, Practice | Tags:
  • Anonymous

    Hi Bitty. I don’t know about MRDIF but Gyarados is definitely a tier 1, powerhouse, force to be reckoned with. I played against it at the Tecumseh, MI City Championship this past weekend. Believe it or not, it donked me on its second turn. I chatted with the player after the match and he said it was his third donk that day.

    My experience validates your points about warp energy, here’s how it went down: he opens with Sableye and Impersonates for a Collector which gets him 2x Magikarp and a Regice. I have a lone Zangoose to which I attach a DCE and pass for lack of any trainer/supporter to use. He uses Regi Move to discard the 2 Magikarp, attaches a Warp Energy to Sableye and then uses a Warp Point. He then searches out Uxie with a Bebe’s Search and gets an Azelf, Expert Belt, BTS, and Gyarados with the Set Up. Azelf’s Time Walk fetches a Magikarp, he puts Broken Time Space in play, evolves to Gyarados, attaches Expert Belt, retreats the Sableye and KOs my Zangoose for the game.

    The key point of this turn was the Warp Energy being attached to Sableye followed by the Warp Point. Not only did this reduce his card count to maximize Set Up but it also got the single energy Sableye needs to retreat normally on him and kept him in the active spot ready to retreat or stay put to Impersonate again.

    • Hey that would be me. Sorry. I then got donked by another Gyarados deck in the next round. But yeah basically if I have a Sableye start, I’m pretty much expecting to have a turn 2 Gyarados hitting for 60-80-90-110. I run thick lines of cards like BTS, Warp Energies, Collectors and such to ensure that. If I’m not set up by turn 2 I either messed up or had the weirdest cards in my hand. Hitting a potential 90 or 110 by turn 2 can be devastating. Donk or no donk.

      • bittyboy72

        I can believe it DONKs! Lol! I don’t get to do that to much though… How does your list differ?

        • Well, first of all I want to let you know that I don’t normally get 3 donks in one tourney… Basically, my donks are simply consistently fast set ups. I don’t change the list to get donks, I change it for consistency. That is what normally gives me the T1 or T2 Gyarados hitting 80-90. If my opponent happens to have only 1 pokemon out after his first turn, that’s how my donks happen. I don’t even run dark energy for the sableye or anything like that

  • Ed

    Ridiculous? Yes.
    Most Ridiculous? I dunno. It’s hard for me to say that when there are so many SP variants running about.

    Thanks for the writeup!

    • bittyboy72

      Believe it or not Gyarados has an extremely good Luxchomp matchup! It’s still not favorable but it’s not unfavorable, pretty much a 50/50 matchup.

      • Ed

        I believe it. Many people think that, because Lux+Lucario can OHKO Gyarados, that LuxChomp is fairly heavily favored. If you play a good build well, it should be at least 50/50, and if Gyarados techs against LuxChomp, then it can even be better.

  • Anonymous

    Great article!!
    I wonder what your opinion on my platform, participate in a tournament this weekend and plan to use it:

    Pokemon – 20

    4 Magikarp SF
    3 Gyarados SF
    4 Sableye SF
    2 Crobat G PL
    1 Regice LA
    1 Azelf LA
    1 Skuntank G
    2 Uxie LA
    1 Combee
    1 Unown Q MD

    T/S/S – 35

    4 Broken Time-Space
    3 Pokemon Collector
    3 Bebe’s Search
    4 Poke Turn
    4 Poké Blower +
    2 Junk Arm
    3 Super Scoop Up
    2 Expert Belt
    2 Pokemon Communication
    1 Palmer’s
    1 Luxury Ball
    2 Seeker
    2 Volkner’s
    2 Pokemon Rescue

    Energy – 5

    2 Rescue Energy
    3 Warp Energy


    • Ed

      This looks fairly typical, except that I think your Junk Arm and maybe Pokemon Rescue counts could be upped. Maybe cut a Bebe’s Search and perhaps a PokeCommunication if you need room.

      Oh, and the big deal with PokeBlower+ is that you can re-use it with Junk Arm. If you’re only running 2 Arm, then it may not be worth Blower+. In that case, I’d probably use Pokemon Reversal instead. So, my suggestion would be to max out the Arms or switch to Reversal. If it were me, I might run 3 Arm and 3 Reversal or 4 Arm and 4 Blower+.

      VS Seeker is also quite nice if you’re running Junk Arm.

  • Anonymous

    Hi, Ed
    I love reversal, but have no luck with the coins … but I’ll try to use 4 4 Arm and Blower.
    Thanks for help.

    • Ed

      Let us know how it works out for you!

  • Anonymous

    I ran some tests with this deck and I concluded that Blower + is vital to kill the pokemon you want.
    With this suggested change for you (4 + Blower and 4 Arm) I believe he will be even better because I will use for Blower + more times.
    After the championship will tell how the deck has behaved.
    Thank’s Ed

    • Ed

      Well, it also allows you to use (or discard) a single Blower+ early on. Then, if you draw into another, you can use Arm to get one from the discard. I tested the Blower+ a little bit, but I decided against it, myself.

      I also noticed that you’re trying Skuntank G. That’s an intriguing idea. My only concern is that you may be poisoning your own Gyarados, depending on when/how you use it.

      Good luck this weekend!

  • Anonymous

    Use Skuntank G when my Crobat G is active, use your pokepower.
    The active pokemon is poisoned
    The Crobat G is not poisoned.
    Use their retreat “0”, put Gyarados active, get it?
    It is very good against pokemon with high HP.
    Some power can’t be used if Pokemon is affected by a Special Condition.

    • Problem with that is space. Your bench will most likely have: 2 uxies (at least thats how it is with me), regice, crobat g, potentially azelf or smeargle or sableye, and whatever else techs you might be running. That alone will put you over 5 bench spaces, and I often find myself juggling the SSU’s and Seekers whenever I need to drop something. Adding another tech, I think is overkill. There are very few things Gdos can’t knock out with a help of a belt and a crobat drop or two.

  • bittyboy72

    I am so glad my article started so much discussion!

    • Ed


      • bittyboy72

        I should probably answer some of there questions…