Waterfall Gyarados and its new place in the meta

Written by: acheron9381

Niantic has finally done it. They’ve knocked King Vaporeon down from his pedestal, and created a new “Best Water Type Attacker”. This attacker comes in the form of the new Waterfall / Hydro Pump Gyarados.

Some of us may have already ‘fixed’ our Gyarados, but for those trainers who have decided to wait, there are a few points to consider about Gyarados’s other movesets that may possibly contain even more utility than its water type one. For the purpose of this analysis, we’ll be talking about Gyarados in the context of the Raid meta game.

Waterfall Gyarados in Raids

As it stands right now, there isn’t a huge demand for extremely high DPS water type attackers. Ho-Oh raids are ending in a few days of this article being written, and even if we disregard this, Ho-Oh is better countered by rock types (to which it has a double weakness) than by water types.

However, when facing the dreaded Solar Beam Ho-Oh, Gyarados takes neutral damage due to its dual water flying typing, so perhaps a Waterfall/Hydro Pump Gyarados would be useful there.

In the face of a Solar Beam Ho-Oh, however, I generally prefer to stack up with a team of Raikou, Jolteon and Zapdos, simply because I have more of them to throw at the Raid Boss and maximize my DPS for extra Premier Balls.

Aside from Ho-Oh, there are relatively few relevant Raid Bosses that are weak to water type moves, namely Golem and Tyranitar. Ninetales is also weak to water, but I haven’t heard of anyone chomping at the bit to raid one (excepting those soloing one for bragging rights, of course), so I will leave it out of our discussion here.

Versus Tyranitar

Tyranitar is weak to water moves; however, as we all know by now, it’s “Machamp or nothing” when it comes to Tyranitar. Gyarados is an acceptable counter for Tyranitar, but significantly weaker than Machamp in all scenarios.

Versus Golem

Tackling Golem is more interesting. As it stands right now, Waterfall / Hydro Pump Gyarados is the best counter for a GOlem raid boss. No other pokémon deals as high DPS and has both a super effective quick move and charge move.

However, after running a series of PokeBattler (*) simulations on the topic, an Exeggutor with Bullet Seed/Solar Beam performs only slightly under Gyarados, and even above it on some occasions.

(*) All simulations were done assuming a level 40 perfect IV attacking pokémon with either Bullet Seed/Solar Beam for Exeggutor or Waterfall/Hydro Pump for Gyarados. The attackers were set to “No Dodging”. I used a Golem with 30572 CP as the raid boss. There was also no weather boosting added, to make the results as pure as possible.

Against a Rock Throw / Stone Edge Golem (highest DPS moveset), Exeggutor outperformed Gyarados by about 6%, a full team of 6 Exeggutor removed 39.74% of the Golem’s HP, while Gyarados removed 33.18%.

Against a Rock Throw/Earthquake Golem, the second highest DPS moveset, Gyarados outperformed Exeggutor by almost exactly 8% – allowing for rounding – with 49.88% HP taken versus 41.88% HP taken.

Among the movesets tested, a trend emerged:

Gyarados is weak to rock moves, and as such is outperformed by Exeggutor in terms of raw, no-dodge DPS when faced with a rock charge move.

In cases where Golem has ground type moves, Gyarados outperforms Exeggutor due to its immunity to ground and increased longevity. Exeggutor is neutral to rock and only resists ground, not having a full immunity.

Taking this data into account, we see that Gyarados is not the “end-all and be-all” of countering Golem.

Other Gyarados movesets

However, there are other scenarios – requiring another of Gyarados’s movesets – which seem more useful to me than a high-DPS water type attacker: a dark type attacker. Gyarados’s lowest DPS moveset is Bite/Crunch, so one would think that this moveset would be useless.

Trainers, this is not the case at all: Gyarados happens to be the highest DPS dark-type attacker to resist the dreaded fighting move Focus Blast.

Gengar, Alakazam, and Mewtwo, may all carry this devastating move. If they have any other moveset, a legion of Tyranitar or Houndoom should do the trick, but both of these pokémon cannot stand to be hit by a Focus Blast, Tyranitar especially.

Gyarados, on the other hand, takes only 71% of full damage from a Focus Blast thanks to its flying typing, opposed to Houndoom’s 140% or Tyranitar’s 196%.

This increased longevity could be the difference between victory and failure for a raid attempt, whether it’s soloing or duo-ing an Alakazam or Gengar, or attacking a Mewtwo in an EX raid.

I remember watching Mystic7 frantically switch his Gyarados to Bite/Crunch because the Mewtwo at the release event in Yokohama, Japan had Focus Blast.

In my own personal experience, a Gyarados will do quite well against a Gengar or Alakazam with Focus Blast, and I have yet to attempt it on a Mewtwo (which I hope to change soon).

Trainers, the choice is ultimately yours. With either one of these movesets, Gyarados has amazing utility and is a great pokémon for use in our current metagame.

I think I’ll stay on the Vape Train for a little while longer, and use my Gyarados to fill the niche none of my other attackers can fill.

Happy raiding and Happy Holidays!

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