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.

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)
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
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

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