A new take on Gyarados

by Joel ~ April 20th, 2011.

Hey everyone enjoying TeamOmar.com, Joel here with a new take on a popular favorite: Gyarados. With the new Black & White rules coming into effect, there has been lots of discussion on how the game will change. In my opinion, fast decks will be faster, slow decks will still be slow, and Sableye is going to see a lot of play. I figured with the new rules, I would go back to testing an old classic: Gyarados. Gyarados has proved to be a strong deck that can hold it’s own against SP’s, and has seen a lot of play over the past year, top cutting at many Battle Roads, Cities, Regionals, Nationals and Worlds. With the new first turn trainer rule, Gyarados can be a force to be reckoned with. I put together a Gyarados list and tested the deck under Black and White rules and the deck has brought me good results. I’ll share my list and discuss how I play it.

Pokemon:
4 Magikarp (SF)
3 Gyarados (SF)
4 Sableye (SF)
1 Ditto (LA)
1 Crobat G (PT)
2 Uxie (LA)
2 Mesprit (LA)
1 Azelf (LA)
1 Combee (SF)
2 Regice (LA)
Trainer/Supporter/Stadiums
3 Broken Time Space
2 Pokemon Communication
3 Expert Belt
4 Super Scoop Up
4 Pokemon Collector
2 VS Seeker
2 Energy Exchanger
4 PokeTurn
3 Seeker
3 Junk Arm
Energy
3 Rescue Energy
3 Dark (special)
3 Warp Energy


Gyarados has always been one of my favorite decks to run. I ran it last year for States, almost making Top 16, and I made top 32 last year at Regionals with it as well, on top of missing cut at many Battle Roads at the end of the season. With the new rules coming into effect, I wanted to make the deck go 2 different ways. I built a Sableye deck a few weeks ago and tested it, and from my testing the deck doesn’t work that well late game. Since Gyarados already enlisted Sableye, I figured I’d try the donk aspect with the Gyarados strategy. My build is simple, if possible donk with Sableye, if you can’t do that, just go the Gyarados route. And after testing a few games and good results coming from those games, I was satisfied with my build.

With Sableye as your starter, you automatically go first (unless your opponent also starts with Sableye, then it’s based on a coin flip). If you want to donk, then just attach an Expert Belt and dark energy to your Sableye and you’re all set. Sometimes this isn’t possible, that’s where the new rules help out. I put Energy Exchanger in the deck for this reason, to get the energy needed. As I said earlier, donking isn’t always possible, if that’s the case, just play it as you would a normal Gyarados deck. Cards like Regice is there to help get Magikarp in the discard pile, Mesprit is there to lock powers, and Ditto is my favorite mirror tech, since Tail Revenge costs 0 energy, and if you have 4 Karps in the discard pile, you can do 120 for 0 energy. Cards such as VS Seeker can help retrieve your Seekers so you can either pick up a damaged Gyarados, or re-use a Set Up or Psychic Bind. Junk Arm is also good for getting rid of Magikarps and retrieving Expert Belts, VS Seekers, and the other useful trainers that are in the discard pile.

This list is just a rough draft and more changes will be made after further testing. Gyarados has always been a good deck and with these rule changes, I believe that Gyarados will be a stronger and faster deck. I have a feeling Gyarados will have a strong presence throughout the remainder of this season, along with Sableye, Luxchomp and other SP variants. I hope this article gives you an idea on what to run for Nationals and Battle Roads. Until next time, have a wonderful day.

Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheJoelHowe

Category: Deck Discussion, Deck Workshop | Tags:
  • Ed

    The first thing I saw (because it was near the top) was the single Crobat. I don’t think this is a problem, except that you have 4 PokeTurn. If you have Turns without Crobat, you can get stuck. I would probably up the Crobat or reduce the Turns.

    I definitely like the return of Sableye and SpDark. When Juniper hits, I’ll enjoy that, too.

    • Anonymous

      +1 on Ed’s comment; Impersonating for Juniper after using Collector to grab three Karps seems like it would be a great play. Also, running a couple of Balls (Luxury, whatever your favorite is) might up your chances of getting all of your starters going T1. (We’d need all four Karps, one Gyarados, and at least on Uxie–gonna need more than just Collector to grab all that….)

      Do you really need 2 Regice? (Won’t they argue a lot?)

  • Ed

    What about Lux Balling / Dual Balling for 1-3 Karp and then Junipering for a new hand and then attacking with Overconfident for a KO?

    Also, I think Unown Dark is better than Exchanger here.

  • Joel Howe

    I like the suggestions, as I stated earlier the deck is still in the works and there is still more testing to be done. Ed, I’ll put your suggestions into consideration, I might just remove the Crobat and turns altogether, although it sounds like a bad move. I might take out 1 or 2 turns and replace them with Juniper as well.

    • Ed

      Yeah, it’s going to be a good deck. It just needs testing/tuning to work out the counts. TAndrewT is right about the Regice, though. 2 of them is a liability. You won’t need any in some matches. You’ll probably never want 2 at the same time. If it’s prized, you can still Junk Arm (except against trainer lock). When you have Juniper, you may not need Regice at all (except he’s searchable).

      • Joel Howe

        I could probably take out a Regice and replace it with another Crobat as well, and still take out 2 turns and replace them with Juniper, since I can get turn back with Junk Arm as well

  • Anonymous

    Do you see how much wrong there is in your list?

    Pokemon:
    4 Magikarp (SF)
    3 Gyarados (SF) Ok, i can respect that now, but it isn’t consistant enough
    4 Sableye (SF)
    1 Ditto (LA) Why if nobudy plays this anymore?
    1 Crobat G (PT)
    2 Uxie (LA)
    2 Mesprit (LA)
    1 Azelf (LA)
    1 Combee (SF)
    2 Regice (LA) I just started with it. What now?
    Trainer/Supporter/Stadiums
    3 Broken Time Space not consistant enough.
    2 Pokemon Communication
    3 Expert Belt
    4 Super Scoop Up
    4 Pokemon Collector
    2 VS Seeker
    2 Energy Exchanger takes up space. 1 if any.
    4 PokeTurn 4???? I get away with one constantly.
    3 Seeker
    3 Junk Arm
    Energy
    3 Rescue Energy
    3 Dark (special): You can take these out for something consistant maybe?
    3 Warp Energy

    edited to make right:

    Pokemon: 20-23
    4 Magikarp (SF)
    4 Gyarados (SF)
    4 Sableye (SF)
    1 Crobat G (PT)
    2 Uxie (LA)
    1 Mesprit (LA)
    1 Azelf (LA)
    1 Combee (SF)
    1 Regice (LA)
    1 *Unown Q*
    0-2 Unown R
    0-1 Mankey SV
    Trainer/Supporter/Stadiums: 28-29
    4 Broken Time Space
    2 Pokemon Rescue
    1 Pokemon Communication
    3 Expert Belt
    4 Super Scoop Up
    3 Pokemon Collector
    1 Energy Exchanger If any
    4 PokeTurn
    3 Seeker
    3 Junk Arm
    1 Luxury Ball
    Energy: 8-10
    4 Rescue Energy
    1 Dark (special)
    3 Warp Energy
    0-1 Fighting for Mankey
    0-1 water energy (i find it helps if you come up against something that you 2HKO and can’t Crobat to KO and you can deck them out. I’ve used it at tournaments and I’ve used it before. I bet you don’t vn know what his other attacks do. Look it up on da beach)