OU Gyarados

pancake

movement and location
is a Contributor Alumnus
Mafia Champion

s/o trinitrotoluene for Flyinium Z spread
QC: p2 / bludz / Finchinator
GP: The Dutch Plumberjack

[OVERVIEW]

* Gyarados’s amazing offensive typing and access to Dragon Dance make it an effective sweeper in both formes, regular and Mega.
* Access to Intimidate and very solid bulk allow it to set up on a plethora of threats, such as Toxapex and Slowbro. It also is able to check Pokemon like Mega Charizard Y and Weavile.
* A decent coverage movepool makes some surprise factor in its sets possible.
* It is weak to Stealth Rock before Mega Evolving and prone to residual damage after, so it is easily worn down. It hates Scald burns and Thunder Wave in particular.
* While it has an alright speed tier, it is outsped by many common Pokemon, such Manaphy and Kyurem-B, as well as common scarfers even after a boost, such as Keldeo and Landorus.
* Mega Gyarados faces less competition from other Mega Pokemon in SM than in XY because there are fewer of them.

[SET]
name: Mega Dragon Dance
move 1: Dragon Dance
move 2: Crunch
move 3: Waterfall
move 4: Substitute / Earthquake / Ice Fang
item: Gyaradosite
ability: Intimidate
nature: Jolly
evs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

* Dragon Dance turns Gyarados into a threatening sweeper, outspeeding and KOing threats like Tapu Koko at +1.
* Crunch is Mega Gyarados's powerful main STAB attack, hitting much of the tier neutrally.
* Waterfall is another STAB move that can be used to hit Pokemon that resist Crunch, such as Tyranitar and Clefable, and Pokemon that can take a Crunch like Landorus-T and Hippowdon.
* Substitute can allow Gyarados to set up on bulkier threats such as defensive Heatran, Celesteela, and Quagsire. It also allows Gyarados to dodge status.
* Earthquake can be used to hit Rotom-W thanks to Mold Breaker and to weaken Toxapex and Keldeo more efficiently.
* Ice Fang hits bulky Grass-types such as Amoonguss, as well as other threats such as Garchomp.
* Taunt is another option that further helps Mega Gyarados take on bulkier Pokemon, such as Mega Sableye and Ferrothorn.

Set Details
========
* Intimidate is used to allow Gyarados to check many physical attackers, like Weavile, before it Mega Evolves. It gives Gyarados a few more chances to set up.
* Maximum Attack and Speed investment along with a Jolly nature is used to give Gyarados the most power possible and to outspeeds threats such as Tapu Koko after a Dragon Dance.
* Gyaradosite is necessary in order for Gyarados to Mega Evolve, giving it Mold Breaker to help it with defensive threats such as Quagsire.

Usage Tips
========
* Set up with Gyarados late-game once its checks, such as bulkier Grass-types and Keldeo, have been weakened.
* Examples of Pokemon Gyarados can set up on are Gliscor, Heatran, and Slowbro, because they either are not able to break its Substitute or are threatened out by its STAB moves.
* Be careful about when to Mega Evolve; when not Mega Evolved, Gyarados can check Pokemon such as Keldeo, Excadrill and other Ground-types, and Grass-types. After it has Mega Evolved, however, it can no longer set up on these Pokemon and instead acts as a great switch-in to Psychic-types. For example, Mega Evolving too early can allow Tapu Lele to spam Moonblast later, but other times a Psychic-type immunity is necessary.
* Base when to Mega Evolve on which Pokemon your opponent has; if they have Excadrill, you might want to keep Gyarados not Mega Evolved. However, if Stealth Rock is up, Mega Evolve in order to reduce residual damage.
* Utilize Volt Switch and U-turn to give Gyarados a free switch to set up. Try to remove entry hazards before doing this, though.

Team Options
========
* Wallbreakers such as Excadrill and Serperior that wear down some of Gyarados's checks allow Gyarados to set up later in the game.
* U-turn and Volt Switch users such as Landorus-T, Tornadus-T, and Genesect give Gyarados more chances to set up; they can also help wallbreak.
* Hazard support from the likes of Ferrothorn and Garchomp can also aid Gyarados in accomplishing a sweep.
* Because Gyarados dislikes residual damage and status, Healing Wish from Latias and Jirachi can make them great partners.
* Pokemon that remove entry hazards, such as Excadrill and Tapu Fini, also help it switch in multiple times. Tapu Fini's ability even protects it from status after it has Mega Evolved.
* Magnezone can trap Ferrothorn, Skarmory, and Mega Scizor, all of which annoy Gyarados greatly.
* Flyinium Z Landorus-T lures bulky Grass-types like Tangrowth and Mega Venusaur, which need to be weakened for Gyarados to sweep.

[SET]
name: Substitute + Dragon Dance
move 1: Substitute
move 2: Dragon Dance
move 3: Waterfall
move 4: Bounce
item: Leftovers
ability: Intimidate
nature: Jolly
evs: 88 HP / 164 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========
* Substitute allows Gyarados to set up against bulkier Pokemon, such as defensive Heatran, and dodge status moves such as Thunder Wave.
* Dragon Dance makes Gyarados a potent setup sweeper, especially late-game.
* Waterfall is a STAB move capitalizing on Gyarados's good offensive typing, hitting the Steel- and Rock-types that resist its other STAB move.
* Even though Bounce can be easily played around, it hits bulky Grass-types like Amoonguss hard and synergizes with Substitute and Leftovers.

Set Details
========
* Leftovers makes up for some of the damage Gyarados inflicts to itself with Substitute and synergizes well with Bounce.
* Intimidate allows Gyarados to better check many physical attackers, such as Excadrill and Mega Scizor.
* Maximum Speed investment with a Jolly nature is run to allow Gyarados to outspeed a plethora of threats at +1, notably +1 Speed Dragonite and Tapu Koko.
* The given HP and Defense EVs allow Gyarados to switch into Stealth Rock the maximum number of times while also avoiding burned Ferrothorn's Power Whip from breaking its Substitute, making it easier to set up on it.
* The rest of the EVs are put into Attack to increase Gyarados's damage output.
* 88 HP / 220 Atk / 4 Def / 196 Spe with a Jolly nature is another option to still outspeed Tapu Koko after a Dragon Dance and get the guaranteed KO on Choice Scarf Tyranitar.

Usage Tips
========
* Use Substitute in order to dodge status moves and avoid Scald burns from the likes of Slowbro.
* A good time to set up a Substitute is when the opposing Pokemon cannot break it, such as Jirachi, or when you predict a switch, such as Heatran being forced out by Waterfall.
* Use Dragon Dance to sweep late-game once Gyarados's checks, such as bulky Water-types, are weakened. Make sure no Pokemon that can outspeed Gyarados and KO it, such as Choice Scarf Terrakion, are alive either.
* Take advantage of Bounce to rack up damage via Toxic or force bulky Grass-types to switch, resulting in more entry hazard damage.
* Pokemon that Gyarados can set up on, such as Toxapex and Gliscor, commonly carry status moves that cripple it, like Toxic, so be careful to not switch Gyarados into those moves.

Team Options
========
* Toxic synergizes very well with Substitute and Bounce, so Pokemon such as Toxapex and Gliscor are great partners.
* Pokemon that appreciate Gyarados's ability to check Fire-, Ground-, and Steel-types, such as Tapu Bulu, Mega Metagross, and Weavile, are great partners for it.
* Likewise, Pokemon that can take on Electric-types for Gyarados, such as Hippowdon and Landorus-T, are great partners.
* Entry hazard support helps Gyarados sweep late-game, as it helps wear down checks to Gyarados such as Suicune and Rotom-W.
* Gyarados is easily worn down by hazards, so Pokemon that can get rid of them, like Excadrill and Latios, are good partners for it.
* Magnezone can help Gyarados sweep by trapping some of its typical checks, such as Skarmory and Ferrothorn.
* Greninja and Genesect can lure in Pokemon Gyarados can set up on, such as Toxapex and Heatran, and then U-turn out.

[SET]
name: Flyinium Z
move 1: Dragon Dance
move 2: Bounce
move 3: Waterfall
move 4: Taunt / Earthquake / Substitute
item: Flyinium Z
ability: Intimidate
nature: Jolly
evs: 88 HP / 220 Atk / 24 Def / 176 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========
* Dragon Dance can allow Gyarados to wallbreak early or sweep late-game.
* Bounce, when combined with Flyinium Z, creates a 160 BP Supersonic Skystrike. Because Gyarados does not have any powerful Flying-type STAB moves that don't require a charge turn, it lures in bulky Grass-types such as Amoonguss. Supersonic Skystrike effectively capitalizes on this, and because it's a powerful move, it KOes other bulky Pokemon as well.
* Waterfall is a strong STAB-move that hits the Rock- and Steel-types that Supersonic Skystrike can't hit.
* Taunt allows Gyarados to set up against bulkier Pokemon such as Toxapex and Gliscor without fear of being poisoned.
* Alternatively, Earthquake hits Toxapex and the uncommon Empoleon as well as other Steel-types for more damage.
* While this set does not use Leftovers to help make up for the damage Gyarados inflicts to itself with Substitute, it is still a solid option to help set up on Pokemon that cannot break the Substitute, such as burned Ferrothorn and Jirachi.

Set Details
========
* 176 Speed EVs and a Jolly nature allow to outspeed maximum Speed neutral-natured Xurkitree before a Dragon Dance and Tapu Koko after a Dragon Dance. The given Attack EVs allow Gyarados to OHKO Choice Scarf Tyranitar when at +1 with Waterfall. The rest of the EVs maximize Gyarados's physical bulk.
* Intimidate allows Gyarados to set up on more physical attackers and aids its bulk.
* Moxie is also an option, however, because Supersonic Skystrike at +1 will almost guarantee a kill due to its power, giving Gyarados a 'free' Attack boost.
* Flyinium Z is necessary to lure and eliminate the aforementioned Grass-types.

Usage Tips
========
* The main goal of Flyinium Z Gyarados is to lure in and remove typical checks to Gyarados such as Keldeo, Tangrowth, and Mega Venusaur for its teammates.
* Don’t reveal Supersonic Skystrike early unless you have to so you can bluff being Mega Gyarados and lure in its checks.
* Also use Supersonic Skystrike to weaken Pokemon even if it doesn't KO them, such as Ferrothorn.
* Although Flyinium Z lets Gyarados pave the way for its teammates to sweep, do not forget that Gyarados itself can sweep late-game, as Supersonic Skystrike eliminates its typical checks.

Team Options
========
* Pokemon that appreciate bulky Grass-types being lured and KOed such as Excadrill, Keldeo, offensive Landorus-T, and Tapu Bulu make great partners for this set in particular.
* Gyarados does not like entry hazards on its side of the field because it is weak to Stealth Rock, so Pokemon that can remove them, such as Starmie and Excadrill, make great partners for it.
* Conversely, Gyarados loves hazards up on the opponent's side of the field, because they can aid its sweep. As a result, Skarmory and Ferrothorn make decent partners.
* Magnezone’s ability to trap Skarmory and Ferrothorn can help Gyarados sweep as well.

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
=============
* A defensive set can be used, but it lacks reliable recovery and as a result is outclassed by other Water-types in the tier. The set should run Waterfall and Roar or Toxic along with Rest and Sleep Talk, and the EVs should be invested in Defense. Leftovers should be used.
* Life Orb can be used for a decent power boost, but typically just using Mega Gyarados is better, because the Life Orb adds to Gyarados's already big issue with residual damage.
* A Lum Berry can be used in order to prevent Scald burns and Toxic from crippling Gyarados, but generally other items are more useful.
* Splash with a Normalium Z gives Gyarados +3 Attack and can further help Gyarados break down bulkier teams where nothing outspeeds it.
* Similarly, Celebrate with a Normalium Z makes Gyarados scary due to the Defense boost. Although it can only be used once, it can help survive hits from some of Gyarados's typical checks.
* Iron Tail can be used to lure and eliminate Fairy-type Pokemon such as Clefable.
* Stone Edge is another option to severely weaken Zapdos and Kyurem-B.
* Rest and a Chesto Berry in conjunction with Dragon Dance can give Gyarados recovery that gets rid of its status, but coverage moves or Substitute are generally preferred.
* Natural Gift with a Liechi Berry makes a 100 BP Grass-type move for Gyarados, which can lure bulky Water-types such as Rotom-W, Azumarill, and Slowbro. However, this is very situational and another item is usually better.

Checks and Counters
===================

**Water-types**: Bulky Water-types, such as Toxapex, Rotom-W, and Tapu Fini, along with less bulky ones such as Azumarill and Keldeo, fail to be 2HKOed by any of Gyarados' moves except for Earthquake for Toxapex. They can cripple it with Toxic back or just KO it with their STAB attacks.

**Physically Bulky Pokemon**: Ferrothorn and Skarmory can switch into pretty much any move Gyarados can hit them with and either phaze it with Whirlwind or hit it with Power Whip.

**Bulky Grass-types**: Although they should be weary of Flyinium Z sets, Tangrowth, Amoonguss, Tapu Bulu, and Mega Venusaur can take any hit from Gyarados and deal serious damage back to it with their STAB attacks. They can also switch around regular Gyarados's Bounce, but they should be wary of Supersonic Skystrike.

**Revenge Killers**: Pokemon that outspeed Gyarados even at +1, such as Mega Alakazam, Pheromosa, Mega Aerodactyl, Choice Scarf Keldeo, and Choice Scarf Landorus-T with Superpower can severely damage it with their coverage moves.

**Fighting-types**: Pokemon such as Buzzwole and Keldeo can take on Mega Gyarados with their STAB moves (RC) and can take any hit from it initially, but they should watch out for Flyinium Z Gyarados, which can catch them off guard.

**Fairy-types**: Pokemon such as Clefable check Gyarados-Mega well because they are able to take a hit and retaliate with STAB Moonblast or cripple it with Thunder Wave. However, they are not the best checks to regular Gyarados.
 
Last edited:

Vague

Banned deucer.
Could Ice Fang and Earthquake be slashed together with Substitute as a mention? Sub is nice and all (I personally use it) but it just seems more logical to have the two moves slashed instead of implying that Waterfall isn't necessary since it's usually one of the best options you could run. Earthquake does hit Rotom-W and neutrally hits resists which is fine and dandy but over the course of a match it's gonna be worn down enough where two +1 are gonna take it out. Ice Fang on the other hand is only delegated to hitting amoong, venu, and bulu while being very weak and not having much use beyond that. iirc amoong can take a +1 fang and use clear smog then just switch out to regen. crunch still hits then bar bulu hard anyway.

also flyinium-z lando-t should also get a mention in team options since it obliterates every grass type I've mentioned
 

pancake

movement and location
is a Contributor Alumnus
Mafia Champion
ready for QC! especially comment on C&C, feel like I'm missing smth
 
Apparently Magikarp gets Celebrate, and Z-Celebrate is another one of those moves that gives +1 in every stat. It's probably not as good overall as Dragon Dance due to the one-off nature of the move and the fact that Gyarados can get multiple Dragon Dances to surpass the usefulness of Z-Celebrate, but the thought of a Gyarados with offense and defense buffs is pretty scary. At least worth an OO mention.
 

p2

Banned deucer.
drop this to team options
  • Flyinium Z Landorus-T lures Bulky Grass-types like Tangrowth and Mega Venusaur, which need to be weakened for Gyarados to sweep.

team options
genesect / greninja in particular are some great teammates since gene baits in a ton of stuff gyara sets up on, while greninja abuses protean + huge ass movepool to potentially threaten mons that can wall gyara like m-venu with esense
z-normal serperior with hyper beam is also pretty lit since it just evaporates venu and other bulky grasses


this is fine 1/3
 

Colonel M

GAOOO
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Something I would slip to the Checks and Counters - Mega Alakazam, Mega Aerodactyl, and Pheromosa are faster Pokemon that don't require a Choice Scarf and still are faster than +1 Jolly Mega Gyarados. I mention this because you mentioned most Scarf Pokemon as Pokemon faster than Gyarados.
 

HotFuzzBall

fuzzy-chan \(ㆁヮㆁ✿)
is an Artist
Under "Team Options," I think you should note Tapu Fini as a hazard remover since it also provides Misty Terrain which wont allow status effects to occur on Gyarados while having access to Defog.
 
Last edited:

Colonel M

GAOOO
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Under "Team Options," I think you should note Tapu Fini as a hazard remover since it also provides Misty Terrain which wont allow status effects to occur on Gyarados while having access to Defog.
The Misty Terrain should only be mentioned in the Mega Gyarados thread, and make sure to mention that it only protects from status when it is Mega Gyarados. Else, I agree.
 

bludz

a waffle is like a pancake with a syrup trap
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Mega DD
Moves

I would edit the sentence about Waterfall, just to mention pokemon which can take a Crunch, not necessarily resists. Landorus-T and Hippowdon are good examples.
For Substitute, I would mention it dodges status moves and can set up on Celesteela and Quagsire.
Rotom should be the first mention in EQ, and it also lets you beat down Toxapex more easily.
Taunt is more for Mega Sableye and Skarmory than Ferrothorn (which can just Power Whip you)

Set Details
I wouldn't say switch into moves, since preferably you start setting up after getting a free switch.
Hoopa-U is naturally outsped by Gyarados, Tapu Koko is a fine example standalone I think

Usage Tips
For when to Mega Evolve, I would note that Tapu Lele is one of the biggest motivators here. Mega evolving too early means it can spam Moonblast later, but sometimes you need a Psychic immunity.
Utilize free switches as much as possible to get in Gyarados to keep it near full HP. VoltTurn and double switches are the ways to do this
Avoid switching in before removing hazards if possible
It can also be used as an early game check to mons like Weavile with Intimidate and solid bulk/typing, but this isn't recommended unless you don't really have a chance to sweep

Team Options
I wouldnt really call Excadrill or Serperior great checks to Gyarados with a DD under its belt. Better checks would be mons like Ferrothorn, Tapu Bulu, and Keldeo, and wallbreakers that beat/lure them work best.
Remove Toxapex from hazard setter mentions and replace it with Garchomp
Note that Tapu Fini's Misty Terrain only protects Gyarados in Mega form from status - normal Gyarados is not grounded and doesn't reap the benefits

Please fully explain the EV spread on the Flyinium Z set

Checks and Counters
Grass types - add Tapu Bulu.
Water types - add Rotom-Wash
I would make a note about Buzzwole and move Keldeo into this section, as bulky fighting types which can take hits and retaliate
Status and residual damage aren't really checks so you can take out this section. This is something better mentioned in Usage Tips or the Overview.

2/3
 

Finchinator

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overview and first set are good

"88 HP / 220 Atk / 4 Def / 196 Spe is another optional EV spread to still outspeed Tapu Koko and get the guaranteed KO on Choice Scarf Tyranitar."
Add what nature this spread should use (I assume Jolly, but you never know and you can't be sure lesser knowledgeable/experienced readers will be able to assume Jolly) somewhere in this line

third set is good

OO: Add some mention of Iron Tail (specifically for Mega Gyarados variants) as it was used here and there during ORAS and it's a decent option for fairies (but with Clefable not being as common in the early stages, it isn't worth a strong set comment mention, so leaving it here is fine). Probably couldn't hurt to mention Stone Edge as it picks off Zapdos and Kyurem-Black. Elaborate a bit on "a defensive set" by including the prospect of RestTalk as RestTalk Gyara has been used the last few generations on bulky builds. Finally, add a mention of RestoChesto DD and Natural Gift+Liechi Berry (100 bp grass) variants somewhere here and you're good.

C&C: If you're giving a bullet to fighting types due to their ability to deal w/ dark type mega gyara, then give a bullet to fairy types, too. Also, I'd change "faster pokemon" to "revenge killers", but that's pretty much a nitpick, so it's fine either way.

good stuff, 3/3
 

P Squared

this is the golden age of something good
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not a gp placeholder, but i notice you use "lure" a lot in this, most times incorrectly. this is a pretty common mistake in C&C though so you're not alone, but here's how you should look at it instead

definition of lure: tempt (a person or an animal) to do something or to go somewhere, especially by offering some form of reward.

Greninja and Genesect can lure in Pokemon Gyarados can set up on, such as Toxapex and Heatran, and then U-turn out.
yes, Greninja and Genesect tempt Toxapex and Heatran to switch in, since Tox/Heat wall them or whatever. this is a correct use of lure
Don't reveal Supersonic Skystrike early unless you have to so you can bluff being Mega Gyarados and lure in its checks.
this is also right. pretending to be Mega Gyarados tempts Mega Gyarados's checks to switch in.
...bulky Grass-types such as Amoonguss are good switch-ins to it. Supersonic Skystrike effectively lures these Pokemon
no it doesn't. Supersonic Skystrike tempting Amoonguss to switch in is pretty absurd. Gyarados tempts Amoonguss in, and Supersonic Skystrike catches it off guard/surprises it/whatever.
Iron Tail can be used to lure Fairy-type Pokemon such as Clefable.
same thing here. Clefable does not think "oh boy, I love switching into Iron Tail" and then switch in, aka it is not lured in by Iron Tail. Clefable wants to switch into (Mega i assume) Gyarados, and then when it does it is hit with an unexpected Iron Tail.

please fix

edit: here's a comparison if it helps: saying Iron Tail lures Clefable in is equivalent to saying spring-loaded bars lure in mice, or sharp hooks lure in fish, when in reality it's cheese that lures in mice and worms/bait/idk that lure in fish.
 

The Dutch Plumberjack

ace of wands
is a member of the Site Staffis a Top Social Media Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris an Administrator
C&C & TFP Leader


remove
add / fix (comments); (AC=add comma; RC=remove comma; SC=semicolon)
GP 1/1
[OVERVIEW]

  • Gyarados' Gyarados's amazing offensive typing and access to Dragon Dance make it an effective sweeper in both forms formes, regular and Mega.
  • Access to Intimidate and very solid bulk allow it to set up on a plethora of threats, such as Toxapex and Slowbro. It also is able to check Pokemon like Mega Charizard Y and Weavile.
  • A decent coverage movepool allows for makes some surprise factor in its sets possible.
  • It is weak to Stealth Rock in regular forme, before Mega Evolving and prone to residual damage in mega forme after, so it is easily worn down. It hates Scald burns and Thunder Wave in particular.
  • While it has an alright OK Speed tier, but still it is outsped by many common Pokemon, such Manaphy and Kyurem-Black, as well as common scarfers even at +1 after a boost, such as Keldeo and Landorus.
  • Mega Gyarados-Mega faces less competition from other Mega Pokemon in SuMo SM than in XY because there are less fewer of them.

[SET]
name: Mega Dragon Dance
move 1: Dragon Dance
move 2: Crunch
move 3: Waterfall
move 4: Substitute / Earthquake / Ice Fang
item: Gyaradosite
ability: Intimidate
nature: Jolly
evs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

  • Dragon Dance turns Gyarados into a threatening sweeper, outspeeding and KOing threats like Tapu Koko at +1.
  • Crunch is Gyarados' Mega Gyarados's powerful main STAB attack, hitting much of the tier neutrally.
  • Waterfall is another STAB move that can be used to hit Pokemon that resist Crunch, such as Tyranitar and Clefable, and also Pokemon that can take a Crunch (RC) like Landorus-T and Hippowdon.
  • Substitute can allow Gyarados to set up on bulkier threats such as defensive Heatran, Celesteela, and Quagsire. It also allows Gyarados to dodge status.
  • Earthquake can be used to hit Rotom-Wash thanks to Mold Breaker (RC) and also to weaken Toxapex and Keldeo more efficiently.
  • Ice Fang hits bulky Grass-types such as Amoonguss, as well as other threats such as Garchomp.
  • Taunt is another option which that further allows helps Mega Gyarados to take on bulkier Pokemon, such as Mega Sableye and Ferrothorn.
Set Details
========
  • Intimidate is used to allow Gyarados to check many physical attackers, like Weavile, before it Mega Evolves. It gives Gyarados a few more chances to set up.
  • Maximum Attack and Speed investment along with a Jolly nature are is used to give Gyarados the most power possible and to outspeeds threats such as Tapu Koko after a Dragon Dance.
  • Gyaradosite is necessary in order for Gyarados to Mega Evolve, giving it Mold Breaker which helps Gyarados to help it with defensive threats such as Quagsire.

Usage Tips
========

  • Set up with Gyarados late-game once its checks, such as bulkier Grass-types and Keldeo, have been weakened.
  • Examples of Pokemon Gyarados can set up on are Gliscor, Heatran, and Slowbro, because they either are not able to break Gyarados' its Substitute or are threatened out by its STAB moves.
  • Be careful about when to Mega Evolve; when not Mega Evolved, Gyarados can check Pokemon such as Keldeo, Excadrill and other Ground-types, and Grass-types. After it has Mega Evolved, however, it can no longer set up on these Pokemon and instead acts as a great switch-in to Psychic-types. For example, Mega Evolving too early can allow Tapu Lele to spam Moonblast later, but other times a Psychic-type immunity is necessary.
  • Base when to Mega Evolve on which Pokemon your opponent has; if they have Excadrill, you might want to keep Gyarados not Mega Evolved. However, if Stealth Rock is up, Mega Evolve in order to reduce residual damage.
  • Utilize Volt Switch and U-turn to give Gyarados a free switch to set up. Try to remove entry hazards before doing this, though.

Team Options
========

  • Wallbreakers such as Excadrill and Serperior that wear down some of Gyarados' Gyarados's checks allow Gyarados to set up later in the game.
  • U-turn and Volt Switch users such as Landorus-T, Tornadus-T, and Genesect give Gyarados more chances to set up; they can also help wallbreak.
  • Hazard support from the likes of Ferrothorn and Garchomp can also aid Gyarados in accomplishing a sweep.
  • Because Gyarados dislikes residual damage and status, Healing Wish from Latias and Jirachi can make them great partners. Pokemon that remove entry hazards, such as Excadrill and Tapu Fini, also help it switch in multiple times. Tapu Fini's ability even protects it from status when in Mega forme after it has Mega Evolved.
  • Magnezone can trap Ferrothorn, Skarmory, and Mega Scizor, all of which annoy Gyarados greatly.
  • Flyinium Z Landorus-T lures bulky Grass-types like Tangrowth and Mega Venusaur, which need to be weakened for Gyarados to sweep.

[SET]
name: Substitute + Dragon Dance
move 1: Substitute
move 2: Dragon Dance
move 3: Waterfall
move 4: Bounce
item: Leftovers
ability: Intimidate
nature: Jolly
evs: 88 HP / 164 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

  • Substitute allows Gyarados to set up against bulkier Pokemon, such as defensive Heatran, and dodge status moves such as Thunder Wave.
  • Dragon Dance makes Gyarados a potent set up setup sweeper, especially late-game. (AH)
  • Waterfall is a STAB move capitalizing on Gyarados' Gyarados's good offensive typing, hitting the Steel- and Rock-types that resist its other STAB move.
  • Meanwhile, even though Bounce can be easily played around, it hits bulky Grass-types like Amoonguss hard and synergizes with Substitute and Leftovers.

Set Details
========
  • Leftovers make makes up for some of the damage Gyarados inflicts to itself with Substitute (RC) and synergize synergizes well with Bounce.
  • Intimidate allows Gyarados to better check many physical attackers, such as Excadrill and Mega Scizor.
  • Maximum Speed investment and with a Jolly nature is run to allow Gyarados to outspeed a plethora of threats at +1, namely notably (unless these two are the only ones) +1 Speed Dragonite and Tapu Koko.
  • The given HP and Defense EVs allows allow Gyarados to switch into Stealth Rock the maximum number of times while also avoiding burned Ferrothorn's Power Whip from breaking its Substitute, making it easier to set up on it.
  • The rest of the EVs are put into Attack to increase Gyarados' Gyarados's damage output.
  • 88 HP / 220 Atk / 4 Def / 196 Spe with a Jolly nature is another optional EV spread to still outspeed Tapu Koko after a Dragon Dance and get the guaranteed KO on Choice Scarf Tyranitar.

Usage Tips
========

  • Use Substitute in order to dodge status moves and avoid Scald burns from the likes of Slowbro.
  • A good time to set up a Substitute is when the opposing Pokemon cannot break them it, such as Jirachi, or when you predict a switch is predicted, such as Heatran being forced out by Waterfall.
  • Use Dragon Dance to sweep late-game once Gyarados' Gyarados's checks, such as bulky Water-types, are weakened. Make sure no Pokemon that can outspeed Gyarados and KO it, such as Choice Scarf Terrakion, are alive either.
  • Abuse Take advantage of Bounce in order to rack up damage via Toxic or force bulky Grass-types to switch, resulting in more entry hazard damage.
  • Pokemon that Gyarados can set up on, such as Toxapex and Gliscor, commonly carry status moves that cripple it, like Toxic, so be careful to not switch Gyarados into those moves.

Team Options
========
  • Toxic synergizes very well with Substitute and Bounce, so Pokemon that can spread Toxic, such as Toxapex (RC) and Gliscor (RC) are great partners.
  • Pokemon that appreciate Gyarados' Gyarados's ability to check Fire-, Ground-, and Steel-types, such as Tapu Bulu, Mega Metagross, and Weavile, (AC) are great partners for it.
  • Likewise, Pokemon that can take on Electric-types for Gyarados, such as Hippowdon and Landorus-T, are great partners.
  • Entry hazard support helps Gyarados sweep lategame late-game, as they it helps wear down checks to Gyarados such as Suicune and Rotom-Wash.
  • Gyarados is easily worn down by hazards, so Pokemon that can get rid of them, like Excadrill and Latios, are good partners for it.
  • Magnezone can help Gyarados sweep by trapping some of its typical checks, such as Skarmory and Ferrothorn.
  • Greninja and Genesect can lure in Pokemon Gyarados can set up on, such as Toxapex and Heatran, and then U-turn out.

[SET]
name: Flyinium Z
move 1: Dragon Dance
move 2: Bounce
move 3: Waterfall
move 4: Taunt / Earthquake / Substitute
item: Flyinium Z
ability: Intimidate
nature: Jolly
evs: 88 HP / 220 Atk / 24 Def / 176 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========
  • Dragon Dance can allow Gyarados to wallbreak early or sweep lategame late-game.
  • Bounce, when combined with Flyinium Z, creates a 160 BP Supersonic Skystrike. Because Gyarados does not have any powerful Flying-type STAB moves that don't require a charge turn, it lures in bulky Grass-types such as Amoonguss are good switch-ins to it. Supersonic Skystrike effectively lures these Pokemon capitalizes on this, and because its it's a powerful move, it KOs KOes other bulky Pokemon as well.
  • Waterfall is a strong STAB-move that hits the Rock- and Steel-types that Supersonic Skystrike can't hit.
  • Taunt allows Gyarados to set up against bulkier Pokemon such as Toxapex and Gliscor without fear of being poisoned.
  • Alternatively, (AC) Earthquake hits Toxapex and the uncommon Empoleon as well as other Steel-types for more damage.
  • While this set does not use Leftovers to help make up for the damage Gyarados inflicts to itself with Substitute, it is still a solid option to help set up on mons Pokemon that can not cannot break the Substitute, such as burned Ferrothorn or and Jirachi. (consider moving Jirachi before Ferro if you do not expressly mean burned Rachi)

Set Details
========
  • 176 Speed EVs and a Jolly nature allow to outspeed max-speed maximum Speed neutral-natured Xurkitree before a Dragon Dance and Tapu Koko after a Dragon Dance. The given Attack EVs allow Gyarados to OHKO Choice Scarf Tyranitar when at +1 with Waterfall. The rest of the EVs maximize Gyarados' Gyarados's physical bulk.
  • Intimidate allows Gyarados to set up on more physical attackers and aids its bulk.
  • Moxie is also an option, however, because Supersonic Skystrike at +1 will almost guarantee a kill due to its power, giving Gyarados a 'free' Attack boost.
  • Flyinium Z is necessary to lure and eliminate the aforementioned Grass-types.

Usage Tips
========
  • The main goal of Flyinium Z Gyarados is to lure in and remove typical checks to Gyarados such as Keldeo, Tangrowth, and Mega Venusaur for its teammates.
  • Don't reveal Supersonic Skystrike early unless you have to so you can bluff being Mega Gyarados and lure in its checks.
  • Also use Supersonic Skystrike to weaken Pokemon even if it doesn't KO them, such as Ferrothorn.
  • Although Flyinium Z lets Gyarados pave the way for its teammates to sweep, do not forget that Gyarados itself can sweep late-game, as Supersonic Skystrike lures eliminates its typical checks.
Team Options
========

  • Pokemon that appreciate bulky Grass-types being lured and KOed (RC) such as Excadrill, Keldeo, offensive Landorus-T, and Tapu Bulu make great partners for this set in particular.
  • Gyarados does not like entry hazards on its side of the field because it is weak to Stealth Rock, so Pokemon that can remove them, such as Starmie and Excadrill, make great partners for it.
  • Alternatively Conversely, Gyarados loves hazards up on the opponent's side of the field, because they can aid its sweep. As a result, Skarmory and Ferrothorn make decent partners.
  • Magnezone's ability to trap Skarmory and Ferrothorn can help Gyarados sweep as well.

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
=============
  • A defensive set can be used, but it lacks reliable recovery and as a result is outclassed by other Water-types in the tier. (AP) The set should run Waterfall and Roar or Toxic along with Rest and Sleep Talk, (comma) and the EVs should be invested in Defense. Leftovers should be used.
  • Life Orb can be used for a decent power boost, but typically just using Mega Gyarados is better, because the Life Orb adds to Gyarados' Gyarados's already big issue with residual damage.
  • A Lum Berry can be used in order to prevent Scald burns and Toxic from crippling Gyarados, but generally other items are more useful.
  • Splash with a Normalium Z gives Gyarados +3 Attack (RC) and can further help Gyarados break down bulkier teams where nothing outspeeds it.
  • Similarly, while Celebrate with a Normalium Z makes Gyarados scary due to the Defense boost. Although it can only be accomplished used once, it can help survive hits from some of Gyarados' Gyarados's typical checks.
  • Iron Tail can be used to lure and eliminate Fairy-type Pokemon such as Clefable.
  • Stone Edge is another option to severely weaken Zapdos and Kyurem-Black.
  • Rest and a Chesto Berry in conjunction with Dragon Dance can give Gyarados recovery that gets rid of its status, but coverage moves or Substitute are generally preferred.
  • Natural Gift with a Liechi Berry makes a 100 BP Grass-type move for Gyarados, which can lure bulky Water-types such as Rotom-Wash, Azumarill, and Slowbro. However, this is very situational and another item is usually better.
Checks and Counters
===================

**Water-types**: Bulky Water-types, such as Toxapex, Rotom-Wash Rotom-W, and Tapu Fini, along with less bulky ones such as Azumarill and Keldeo, fail to be 2HKO'd 2HKOed by any of Gyarados' moves except for Earthquake for Toxapex. They can cripple it with Toxic back or just KO it with their STAB attacks.

**Physically Bulky Pokemon**: Ferrothorn and Skarmory can switch into pretty much any move Gyarados can hit it them with and either phase phaze it out with Whirlwind or hit it with Power Whip.

**Bulky Grass-types**: Although they should be weary of Flyinium Z sets, Tangrowth, Amoonguss, Tapu Bulu, and Mega Venusaur can take any hit from Gyarados and deal serious damage back to it with their STAB attacks. They can also switch around regular Gyarados's Bounce, but they should be weary wary of Supersonic Skystrike.

**Revenge Killers**: Pokemon that outspeed Gyarados especially even at +1, such as Mega Alakazam, Pheromosa, Mega Aerodactyl, Choice Scarf Keldeo, and Choice Scarf Landorus-T with Superpower can outspeed and severely damage Gyarados it with their coverage moves.

**Fighting-types**: Pokemon such as Buzzwole and Keldeo can take on Mega Gyarados with their STAB moves (RC) and can take any hit from it initially, but they should watch out for Flyinium Z Gyarados, which can lure catch them off guard.
 
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