VGC 2017 Pokemon Spotlight #11: Gyarados


Welcome back to another VGC 2017 Pokémon Spotlight, where the goal is to look at a Pokémon that's doing well in the format and give helpful information on how to both use and beat it. Today, we're gonna take a look at Gyarados. Gyarados has been a powerhouse threat since its debut in the first Pokémon games, so let's take a look and see exactly why people enjoy using it so much.

Base Stats



Looking at its stats, it's easy to see why Gyarados is a strong Pokémon. Decent bulk at 95/79/100 allows it to take hits that aren't super effective pretty well depending on the hit. A 125 Attack stat means that Gyarados can hit very hard with its physical moves. Finally, its 81 Speed stat puts it in an awkward position but allows it to outspeed a lot of Pokemon and Gyarados has the opportunity to outspeed even more Pokemon by increasing its speed stat.

Notable Moves

  1. Ice Fang 
  2. Dragon Dance 
  3. Roar 
  4. Taunt 
  5. Protect 
  6. Earthquake 
  7. Flamethrower 
  8. Thunder Wave 
  9. Waterfall 
  10. Bounce 
Now let's go into sample sets

gyarados.png
Gyarados @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 52 HP / 230 Atk / 60 Def / 4 SpD / 164 Spe
More Optimized: EVs: 52 HP / 212 Atk / 76 Def / 4 SpD / 164 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Waterfall
- Flamethrower
- Dragon Dance
- Protect

This is a set used by Zoe Lou to win the 2017 Oceanic Championships. Its a pretty standard Gyarados set, barring the most interesting move in Flamethrower and its Sitrus Berry item. The berry as Zoe said is that to allow Gyarados to increase its longevity on the field. The 164 Speed EVs + Jolly Nature means Gyarados can outspeed and then KO a Timid nature Tapu Koko after 1 Dragon Dance boost. She says that the spread may not be optimized well as a -1 Wild Charge from Arcanine has a 6.3% chance to KO, so by moving 16 EVs from Attack to Defense, you can accomplish that, so I took the liberty of doing that as in bold, you can accomplish that with a new EV spread. The moves are pretty simple with Waterfall as a strong Water STAB move and Dragon Dance to increase Gyarados' offensive potential. Flamethrower as Zoe puts it, was because since her team had no strong way to damage Kartana, Flamethrower was chosen to do so, but if your team is fine versus Kartana, then Ice Fang or Earthquake works well in that slot.

Because Gyarados in this format has a pretty one-sided role it plays, as shown in the set used above by Zoe Lou, I will link 3 team reports from players who have used Gyarados to success, but have used the same standard set in different ways to support their team.


  1. Alex Underhill (1st @ Collinsville Regionals) - here
  2. Jon Hu (Top 8 @ Collinsville Regionals) - here
  3. William Tansley (Top 8 @ London Internationals) - here


Possible Items

  1. Waterium Z - Turns Waterfall into the Z-move equivalent, Hydro Vortex
  2. Flynium Z - Turns Bounce into the Z-move equivalent, Supersonic Skystrike
  3. Healing Berries - Increases Gyarados' longevity (Includes Sitrus and FIWAM berries)
  4. Wacan Berry - Weakens a super-effective Electric move
  5. Charti Berry - Weakens a super-effective Rock move


Potential Partners
marowak-alola.pngtogedemaru.png - Provide the Lightning Rod ability to help Gyarados deal with Electric moves
garchomp.pngkrookodile.png - Gyarados gives them an Earthquake partner
(Gyarados generally enjoys being surrounded by offensive Pokemon so if its a Pokemon that enjoys offensive power from it, Gyarados may find an enjoyable spot on the team.)

How to beat Gyarados?
tapu-koko.pngtogedemaru.pngraichu-alola.pngxurkitree.png - The rule of thumb is that if its an Electric type, Gyarados will generally find trouble with them
nihilego.pnggigalith.pngaerodactyl.png - These are the 3 most prevalent Rock types as they can use a strong Rock move to threaten Gyarados.
gastrodon.png - Gastrodon's Storm Drain ability makes Gyarados' Water moves null which means it can't use Waterfall

Overall, Gyarados is a strong Pokemon. If you can manage what Gyarados struggles with, then it can become a real threat and make an appearance. Hope you enjoyed this article and check out my older content. I'll see you guys next time. Bye!

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