Austino’s Gyarados Decklist

by Ed ~ April 20th, 2010.

Austino's GyaradosAustino’s Gyarados” No, it’s not a new gym leader’s Pokemon, but maybe it should be. After all, Austino rode Gyarados to 3 top cuts in States/Regionals ultimately grabbing second place in the CO regionals earning him a 2 round bye at nationals and a $1000 scholarship. All it got me was 5th (after Swiss) in MN states and 17th in the WI regionals.

Let’s take a look at the deck that helped Austino and I get all those match wins, but first I should provide a little background on why I am posting about Austino’s deck in the first place. Leading up to states, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to play. For a while, I had been thinking SP, but whenever I played it, it just didn’t feel right to me. I’m not saying that I didn’t have fun playing it or that I couldn’t play it well. It’s just not my style, I think. I could have worked it out, but I wanted something that felt more natural to me. I researched a lot, and I came to the conclusion that Gyarados would be a good fit for me. I started building the deck, but I got stuck on what techs to run in it. Lots of people were running Luxray. I tried that. Omar built a version with Blissey, but I wasn’t sold on it. I was really worried about the SP matchup and a bit worried about things like Mime and Spiritomb. I tried tossing in things like Combee, Promocroak, Relicanth, etc. I still wasn’t getting the feel that I was searching for.

Luckily for me, MN’s tourney was on the second weekend of states tourneys. I started talking to Austino, because he was running Gyarados without all that junk I mentioned earlier. I knew that in his first weekend of states he faced multiple LuxChomp decks and still won matches against all of his SP opponents. It sounded like his build was just what I was trying to achieve, and his first weekend of states proved to me that the deck could do well without all the extra garbage that everyone else seemed to think was necessary. After talking with him, I ran this list at both MN states and WI regionals. I believe that it is about 1 or 2 cards off of what Austino ran at states. If you want to see the list that he played in regionals, you should read Austino’s CO Regionals Tournament Report. After the list, I’ll go into how the deck works for those of you that care for that part.
Regice - LA

Pokemon: 18
4 Magikarp SF
3 Gyarados SF
4 Sableye SF
2 Crobat G
1 Regice LA
1 Azelf LA
1 Uxie LA
1 Baltoy
1 Claydol

Trainers: 22
4 Poke Turn
4 Super Scoop Up
2 Expert Belt
2 Luxury Ball
2 Great Ball
1 Warp Point
4 Pokemon Reversal
3 Pokemon Rescue

Supporters: 11
4 Felicity’s Drawing
4 Pokemon Collector
2 Bebe’s Search
1 Palmer’s Contribution

Staduims: 3
3 Broken Time-Space

Energy: 6
3 Warp Energy
3 Special Dark

Here’s a quick rundown on how the deck works for those of you that haven’t seen it in action. You usually want to start the match with Sableye active. His Overeager Poke-Body makes it so that you go first. In some cases, this means that you can attach a Special Dark energy to him and do 50 damage for the donk. This can be aided by Crobat’s Flash Bite, but it’s highly unlikely to start with all 3 of those cards.

On turn 1, if you can’t donk, you will usually want to play a Pokemon to the bench (to stop the opponent from donking) and use Sableye’s Impersonate attack to go grab a supporter from your deck and use it. Most of the time, you will want to Impersonate Pokemon Collector and grab 3 Magikarp. Use this opportunity to see what’s in your prizes. It’s quite important with this deck, especially if you have prized a Karp. In that case, you will need Azelf to retrieve it. Your main goal with the deck will be to get 3 Karp in the discard with one in play to evolve to Gyarados. Hopefully you have another supporter in hand, so that when your second turn rolls around. Then you can do something like Felicity’s Drawing to discard 2 Karp and draw 4 cards or Collector for the 4th Karp, a Regice, and an Uxie. Regice is great here, because it lets you discard 2 Karp to cyclone your opponent’s active basic Pokemon. Even if your opponent’s active isn’t basic, you can still do the discard, though. If you don’t believe me, just ask about everyone I played against in regionals. Calling the judge when I did that was a very common theme.

At this point, you may be lucky enough to have 3 Karp in the discard pile, one in hand, a BTS, and a Gyarados. In some matchups, I may even recommend having played a Karp on the bench turn 1 so that you can evolve turn 2 (without BTS). The drawback of the turn 1 Karp is that it’s only 30 HP and may be an easy target for Crobat G or some such. On the positive side, if the opponent KO’s it on their turn 1, that’s just one more Karp in the discard pile. If you can get that Gyarados out on your second turn, awesome. You can retreat Sableye and start KOing punks. If not, don’t worry. Just use Sableye’s Impersonate again to do what you need. It will most likely be another Felicity’s Drawing to get that third Karp in the discard. It could be Bebe’s search for Gyarados. Whatever it is, you should be ready to rock by turn 3.

That seems very straight-forward, and the deck often plays like that. The part I like is that, for a deck that is so simple and elegant, it seems to have an amazing potential for handling adverse situations and coming up with interesting ways to get KOs. Yeah, the vast majority of the time, you will have Gyarados active attacking attack for 90 (or 110 with belt) until he gets so beat up that you need to Super Scoop him up and BTS him back into the prime of his life. Sometimes, you can go for a mid-game Overconfident KO thanks to Sableye and having Crobat G means that there’s always a chance to Flash Bite a Hoppip into oblivion. Even Uxie has been there for me at times to supply a KO and run away to the bottom of my deck so that I can do another Set Up later.

Thanks to running 3 Warp Energy, there are many bad situations that you can get out of. If your opponent brings up your Regice or Claydol, you can Warp Point or Warp Energy him back. If Gyarados gets Paralyzed/Asleep/etc., you can Warp Gyarados back, bring Crobat up, retreat Crobat, and attack with Gyarados. When Gyarados gets KO’d you can usually put him back together the next turn. Just Pokemon Rescue Magikarp and then BTS Gyarados back on top. Sometimes, you don’t have ‘Dos, and you’ll have to Rescue him, too.

Pokemon ReversalThere are a few other cards in the list that I’ll just touch on. Claydol/Baltoy should be obvious. They help you draw cards, and there are lots in this list that aren’t searchable. Crobat G and Poke Turn combine to get KOs. Either add that extra bit of damage so Gyarados can KO or KO a little basic before the opponent can evolve it. Pokemon Reversal is the hidden gem of this deck. Yeah, they require a coin flip, but the deck runs through so many cards so flipping tails is no big deal while flipping heads against a key target can win the game. 2 Luxury Ball is a bit unusual for most decks, but I run them because they’re so useful here. If you have one in the discard pile already, you can easily dump the second one with Felicity, Regi Move, or Cosmic Power. Great Ball is here mainly to get Regice or Baltoy. It can also get you a Karp onto your bench, but this doesn’t seem to come up often.

Palmer’s Contribution is the only real CYA card in the deck. If you run into a Spiritomb with 4 Karps in the discard pile, you can still Impersonate Palmer to get it back. I do know that Austino chooses Night Maintenance over Palmer. I expected to see more Spiritomb, so I used Palmer. To be honest, though. I can’t think of a single time that I used Palmer where Night Maintenance would have failed. Hindsight being what it is, NM would have been better for the situations I was in. The flip side is that I can’t think of a single time that I used Palmer and wished it was NM instead. There’s one card you can tune to your metagame.

I think I’ve pretty much covered how the deck works and all its cards. Austino’s regionals build was slightly different than the one I ran. Let me briefly mention the differences (besides Palmer/NM). His list ran one Team Galactic’s Wager that I never ran. TGW can really mess up some opponents (including the mirror match), and it can help you when you get low on cards. Since it is a supporter, you can Impersonate it at key times if you feel that it would handicap the opponent. Austino ran Pokemon Communication over Great Ball, but I know that he also used Great Ball at some points in his deck evolution. Finally, Austino’s regionals build ran a 4th Special Dark instead of a 2nd Luxury Ball. I actually considered this mod, myself, because I was expecting so much Jumpluff with tiny donkable Hoppips. Ultimately, I think it was fine for me, because I only faced one Jumpluff deck, and when I did, I started Sableye with Sp Dark in hand (but they started active Luxray anyway, IIRC).

So, there is is. Now you know just how Austino’s Gyarados works. Maybe you already knew.

Category: Deck Discussion, Regional Championships, State Championships | Tags: , , ,