Gyarados, The Atrocious Pokémon. In ancient literature, there is a record of a Gyarados that razed a village when violence flared. Rarely seen in the wild. Huge and vicious, it is capable of destroying entire cities in a rage. They say that during past strife, Gyarados would appear and leave blazing ruins in its wake. Once it begins to rampage, a Gyarados will burn everything down, even in a harsh storm.
Gyarados has always been one of my favourite Pokémon. Back in the day, I thought it was one of the strongest ones and continued to use it despite all odds. After all, this awesome sea serpent evolved from the Magikarp I bought at Mt. Moon. How awesome is that? It has some amazing strength and since the Physical/Special split in Generation IV, it has a decent movepool to back up its stats for a change. X & Y hasn't really done much for Gyarados, aside from its Mega Evolution which we'll get into later, so it remains mostly the same as in past generations.
Intimidate: Upon entering battle, the opponent’s Attack lowers one stage. This can be very handy considering Defense is Gyarados' worst stat, so it could mean that Gyarados could survive more hits
Dancing In The New Year
- Dragon Dance
This is your classic standard Dragon Dance set for Gyarados. If you use Dragon Dance, you will boost Gyarados' Attack to a really high level, give it significant Speed so it can outspeed more things and just generally push forward. With that boost, Gyarados should be able to take out many Pokémon with ease, and with Moxie its Attack will continue to increase. Waterfall is Gyarados' best physical Water-type move. It can do significant damage, has a chance of flinching and, if in the rain, can nearly guarantee OHKOs of many Pokémon. Bounce is, unfortunately, Gyarados' only Flying-type move. Unfortunately, it gives the opponent time to protect and is not possible in the Kalos-native fold. As such, you may want to go with an alternative like Return. It lacks Flying-type STAB but makes it up in being just a generally overly powerful move. Stone Edge and Earthquake both give alternate coverage, with Earthquake being able to take out the Electric-type Pokémon that Gyarados dreads to see.
The Serpent's Choice
In various instance, you will want Gyarados to, instead of having set up to sweep, become a standard Choice Band Pokémon. The moves work in a similar manner to before with Waterfall being the Water-type STAB, Stone Edge, Ice Fang and Earthquake providing coverage and Double-Edge giving Gyarados the sort of raw power you can only dream of, but requires it to come from Generation III. If you don't have one that far back, go with Return.
Aqua Tail, Iron Head, Iron Tail, Outrage, Substitute and Choice Scarf.
Double & Triple Battle Options
Immune to Earthquake, can dish out Earthquakes, offers Intimidate support, can Dragon Dance once to outspeed all relevant threats AND can Mega Evolve? Gyarados is nothing short of fantastic.
Basically, Electric-type moves. From any powerful Pokémon, such as Thundurus, Galvantula, Porygon2, Porygon-Z or anyone it will be able to severely damage Gyarados. If it's after a Stealth Rock, then it's almost guaranteed to be knocked out. Ferrothorn is also an amazing counter to Gyarados. It has the ability to resist practically every move Gyarados can throw at it, and has enough moves to do serious damage. It can also set up Stealth Rocks which will cause it grief. Other than those obvious choices, you'll want to go with something physical. Gyarados cannot take many physical hits, and if you're against a Moxie Gyarados, then you won't be hindered by it at all.
When Gyarados first came out, everyone wanted it to be a Dragon-type. People were continually asking why it wasn't one. So, when it was revealed that it had a Mega Evolution, people started rejoicing. After all, Charizard just gained the Dragon-type so it made sense that Gyarados would too, right? Wrong. While Mega Gyarados drops its Flying-type, which was really more of a hindrance to it than a boost, and gains the Dark-type, which is almost equally as useless. However, the Mega Evolution gives it significant boosts. Its Defense is now acceptable, its Special Defense is very decent and its Attack is bordering on ridiculous. However, due to the Mega Stone taking the item slot, it cannot be boosted so still falls short of a Choice Band Gyarados when it comes to raw power.
Mold Breaker: The Pokémon's moves are not affected by foe’s abilities during battle. This ability is rather decent as it makes Levitate and Sturdy utterly useless against it.
A Darkened Blimp
- Dragon Dance
This set is essentially the same as you'd run on a normal Gyarados. Dragon Dance increases its Speed so it can outspeed more Pokémon, and it makes Gyarados' Attack even more evil. Waterfall remains powerful with STAB and the possibility of flinching. Earthquake is a good choice on this variant of Gyarados, because it can completely bypass Levitate and thus do easy damage to any Rotom that tries to wall it, and Stone Edge & Return are both powerful moves that can give it decent coverage.
A Sleeping Dragon
- Dragon Dance
This set could be seen rather gimmicky, but upon testing it out, it works surprisingly well thanks to Mega Gyarados' bulk. Waterfall is the only damaging move that Mega Gyarados has, but that is really all it needs. Dragon Dance will set it up in Attack & Speed. Rest will recover any damage done to it and Sleep Talk is used for when it's asleep. Sleep Talk will randomly select one of the other moves to use. While it has a chance of selecting Rest, which will make it fail, it can select Waterfall to do damage or Dragon Dance to make it even more brutal. Many teams have been decimated by this set.
Aqua Tail, Bite, Iron Head, Iron Tail, Payback Outrage.
Double & Triple Battle Options
Mega Evolving only adds to what Gyarados can do in doubles. +1 Mold Breaking Earthquakes from base 155 Attack will Turboblaze through unsuspecting teams. Gengar? Beyond dead. While Sassy 252 HP/0 Def Bronzong is on the higher end of being 2KOed from full health.
Countering Mega Gyarados
Mega Gyarados has a fair few more counters than normal Gyarados. Like before, Ferrothorn is your best bet at walling it, and thanks to it losing the Flying-type, moves like Power Whip are now Super Effective on it. Anything that can resist its attacks will be good though, but due to the increase in weaknesses, Pokémon like Mega Lucario, Mega Mawile, Mega Heracross etc. can do serious damage, even in their non Mega Evolved forms. The problem is just when the Gyarados user will Mega Evolve. Stealth Rock beforehand would deal decent damage to Gyarados before it Mega Evolves, so don't forget to set it up!
Locations in Games
Black 2/White 2:
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