“Dragon the Line:” a Look at Gyarados for Standard PRC-SM Format

Good morning, Malibu – or should I say Melbourne?

How’s it going, Cut or Tap readers! I haven’t written an article for this website for a while, but I’m ecstatic to bring an article that has excited me this past week. Chronologically, I’m writing this before Anaheim, California’s Regionals go underway, so it’ll be interesting to see if my knowledge is correct. I always find articles written before events take place to be more interesting than those that analyze the results after – predictions mean more to me than the analytical aspect of things. Everything is clearer in hindsight, but I feel as if the best players are able to stick to their gut while supporting their concepts with concrete facts.

In most cases, I feel as if the players who become insecure of their deck choice the night before and switch are most apt to fail the following day; this isn’t always the case, as some veteran players can pick up any deck and play it above average, but for the most part I feel like my previous statement holds merit. Looking onward into the Sun and Moon format, I feel as if the format is going to shape up after Anaheim takes place, and we can react to these results to the best of our abilities. For anybody who has read my articles, you’ll know that I put in several games on PTCGO daily, and practice may as well be my middle name. I’ve identified a few under-the-radar decks that pose strong matchups against the metagame, as well as decks that have improved with the release of the newest expansion. Let’s take a peak at one of my personal favourites: Gyarados!

Table of Contents

  1. Gyarados Decklist
  2. Strategy
  • SWOT
  1. Key Cards
  2. Matchups
  3. Conclusion

Gyarados Decklist

Pokémon – 12 Trainers – 44 Energy – 4
4 Gyarados AOR21 4 Professor Sycamore 4 VS Seeker 4 Double Colorless
4 Magikarp promo XY143 2 N 4 Dive Ball
1 Meowstic EX GEN 2 Teammates 4 Trainers’ Mail
2 Shaymin EX ROS 1 Lysandre 4 Buddy-Buddy Rescue
1 Oranguru SM 1 Professor Kukui 4 Ultra Ball
4 Puzzle of Time
2 Lucky Helmet
2 Float Stone
1 Special Charge
1 Town Map
4 Team Magma’s Secret Base


Gyarados throughout the years has always had a consistent theme involving everybody’s beloved fish, Magikarp! In this case, the amount of damage Gyarados can do is reliant on the amount of damage counters inflicted on benched Magikarps – we abuse this by benching Magikarp while Team Magma’s Secret Base is in play, in order to damage ourselves. It’s a very simple, yet effective strategy! Team Magma’s Base also inflicts damage onto our opponent’s Pokemon, which can quickly add up when accompanied by Meowstic EX’s ability, Professor Kukui, and Gyarados’ monsterous attack. The entire deck is centered around OHKO’s, and is just based upon doing quick amounts of brash damage.

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