Gyarados

Intimidate
Lowers the foe's Attack one stage. Decreases wild encounter rate.
Moxie
Boosts Attack by one stage if the wielder knocks out another Pokemon.
Type
Water / Flying
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
95
- 331 394 -
Atk
125
257 286 349 383
Def
79
174 194 257 282
SpA
60
140 156 219 240
SpD
100
212 236 299 328
Spe
81
178 198 261 287

Overview

BW brought about huge obstacles for Gyarados to overcome, such as Ferrothorn and Rotom-W, the latter of whom gained a secondary Water typing, as well as common Choice Scarf users such as Rotom-W and Terrakion. These issues compounded problems Gyarados already faced, such as its Stealth Rock weakness, preventing it from being a top offensive contender in the DW metagame. This does not mean Gyarados, who had always been a fine sweeper in the OU metagame, is a bad Pokemon by any means. However, with new threats emerging in the DW tier such as Keldeo and Technician Breloom, Gyarados's excellent defensive typing and stats will be tested like never before. Gyarados's offensive capabilities should never be overlooked though. With an impressive base 125 Attack, coupled with access to Dragon Dance, the prevalence of rain, and a terrific choice of abilities between Moxie or Intimidate, Gyarados can still pose a major offensive threat to any team.

Name Item Nature

Substitute + Dragon Dance

Leftovers Adamant / Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Dragon Dance
~ Substitute
~ Waterfall
~ Bounce
72 HP / 236 Atk / 16 Def / 184 Spe

This set aims to obtain multiple Dragon Dances behind a Substitute to attempt a sweep. Substitute is incredibly useful on Gyarados, as it grants Gyarados protection from status, Taunt, Volt Switches from Pokemon such as Rotom-W, revenge killers such as Terrakion and Landorus, and priority moves, in addition to the ability to set up on bulky Waters without worrying about Scald burns. Substitute also provides protection while Gyarados is airborne after using Bounce, allowing it to rack up even more Leftovers recovery, which somewhat compensates for its weakness to Stealth Rock. Waterfall serves as powerful, reliable STAB, and its flinch rate coupled with Bounce's paralysis rate form a paraflinch combination. All of this means there are very few Pokemon in DW who can handle this set one-on-one.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Defensive

Leftovers Intimidate Impish
Moveset EVs
~ Thunder Wave
~ Dragon Tail / Roar
~ Taunt
~ Waterfall
248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD

In a metagame where threats such as Keldeo and Dragonite run rampant, Gyarados's solid 95 / 79 / 100 defenses backed by Intimidate and superb defensive typing become all the more relevant. While Gyarados's defensive stats aren't the best in DW, it has tools that make it an excellent defensive Pokemon. Thunder Wave is useful for stopping setup sweepers, and it works great in tandem with Waterfall's flinch rate, making it tough for the opponent to even land a hit. When Gyarados isn't crippling foes with Thunder Wave, it can phaze them out, which is bolstered by the threat of offensive variants of Gyarados as they force a lot of switches. Dragon Tail is the main choice of phazing move as it isn't affected by Taunt, and with Gyarados's naturally high Attack stat, few sweepers will be able to keep their Substitute up against it. Roar is an option for its reliable accuracy, and is a significantly better option against Substitute + Bulk Up users such as Toxicroak, as well as Substitute Jirachi. Taunt rounds out the set, prevent phazing attempts, status, or attempts at setting up hazards. Even uninvested, Gyarados's base 80 Speed lets it outrun a large portion of the utility Pokemon in DW, allowing it to shut them down with Taunt.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Offensive Dragon Dance

Life Orb / Lum Berry Moxie Adamant / Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Dragon Dance
~ Waterfall
~ Stone Edge / Bounce
~ Earthquake
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

While the power creep has made all-out offensive Dragon Dance Gyarados less threatening this generation, Moxie coupled with rain allow it to rip through unprepared teams. Unlike the Substitute + Dragon Dance variant of Gyarados, this one is more of an immediate threat offensively, outspeeding all base 120s after a single Dragon Dance. Waterfall is Gyarados's main weapon and hits extremely hard after a Dragon Dance, thanks to boosts from Life Orb and possibly rain. Waterfall's flinch rate make it even more of a threat; it allows Gyarados to possibly break down bulkier Pokemon such as Skarmory. Stone Edge provides excellent neutral coverage alongside Waterfall, hitting Pokemon such as Dragonite, Serperior, and Celebi. One can opt for Bounce for strong secondary STAB, but it as not as safe of an option on this set; Gyarados lacks protection from Substitute, so it is susceptible to attacks when landing. Earthquake is Gyarados's best option against Empoleon and Ferrothorn.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Choice Scarf

Choice Scarf Moxie Adamant / Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Waterfall
~ Earthquake
~ Ice Fang
~ Stone Edge
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

Thanks to Moxie, Gyarados makes a terrific Choice Scarf user. In addition to being able to revenge kill a large portion of set-up sweepers in DW, Gyarados can also function as a late-game cleaner, as it receives an Attack boost from Moxie after simply revenge killing something. Therefore, Gyarados will essentially have a Dragon Dance boost while locked into a move. It is imperative that this Gyarados be used in rain, as the boosted Waterfall will greatly help Gyarados obtain the first Moxie KO, at which point very few Pokemon in DW will be able to take a hit from it. This will let it rack up more Moxie boosts for an increasingly unstoppable sweep. Waterfall is Gyarados primary attack, and lets it revenge kill +1 Volcarona. Earthquake takes out Empoleon and Ferrothorn, while Ice Fang comes in handy for revenge killing Dragon Dance Dragons, such as Salamence and Dragonite. While Stone Edge is mainly filler, it is Gyarados's strongest option against opposing Gyarados.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Gyarados can use Aqua Tail in lieu of Waterfall on any of its sets for a slight increase in power, but Waterfall's reliability and flinch rate are better in most cases. A RestTalk + Dragon Dance set is possible, but mono-Water coverage isn't ideal, and Gyarados will have trouble surviving through the sleep turns. Gyarados can function as a wallbreaker when equipped with a Choice Band, but is easily forced out without a way to boost its Speed, meaning its Stealth Rock weakness can really hurt it. Finally, Gyarados can utilize Wacan Berry to survive an Electric-type attack.

Checks and Counters

Gyarados runs into a lot of trouble against Rotom-W as it can switch into both of Gyarados's STAB attacks, while threatening with its 4x super effective STAB Electric-type attacks. Rotom-W can also beat the Substitute + Dragon Dance variant if it packs Thunderbolt or Thunder.

Without Bounce, Gyarados has trouble getting past bulky Grass-types, such as Ferrothorn, Celebi, and Amoonguss, all of whom can cripple Gyarados with paralysis. Ferrothorn in particular does a great job at stopping Gyarados, as it takes neutral damage from Bounce. Moreover, Ferrothorn doesn't mind being paralyzed by Bounce, and can paralyze Gyarados in return, while Earthquake is Gyarados's only neutral attack against Ferrothorn that doesn't cause Iron Barbs recoil. Skarmory and physically defensive Cloyster wall Gyarados excellently thanks to their immense Defense stats. Skarmory can even take hits from a +2 Gyarados and phaze it out, while Cloyster effectively checks even Substitute Gyarados thanks to Rock Blast and its resistance to Water-type attacks. Finally, Gyarados has trouble breaking through bulky Waters such as Slowbro, Jellicent, and Vaporeon due to their Water resistance and Scald's burn rate.

Latios and Latias can check Gyarados, and they can even run Thunderbolt to quickly KO it. Choice Scarf users such as Terrakion, Landorus, and Tyranitar can force Gyarados out even after a Dragon Dance, assuming it doesn't have a Substitute up. Finally, Ditto can transform into the offensive Dragon Dance set and KO it with Stone Edge.