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!

  • javier medina

    Is golem now capable of being taking down by two trainers?

    • vishwajeet singh


      • vishwajeet singh

        Me and my friend did lot of level 4 raids
        Today we did absol 2 man raid

      • Michal Hušák

        As well as Tyranitar, Absol and probably most of R4.

  • znake74

    What about dragon tail/outrage against Dragonite?

    • David Knapp

      You’re better off using ice types – cloyster, lapras, etc.

  • Leon119

    Will be the best counter to groudon most likely since it resists SB and fire blast and is “immune” to ground.
    Groudon does learn rock moves but from the guide i saw here he doesnt seem to have any in pogo

    • Chanderule

      Doesnt resist SB

      • Leon119

        Neutral dmg my bad. Still doesnt take SE dmg from any of groudon’s moves

        • Chanderule


  • Count Casula

    Alakazam can’t even be solo’d with a team of Gyarados (unless weather boosted I guess). Gengar can be dispatched with Alakazam and Espeon. Honestly, you are better off just using Tyranitar and dodging FB (which isn’t that hard to do, and when you raid by yourself you don’t have to deal with the dodge bug).

    So the only conceivable reason to keep a double dark Gyarados is for FB Mewtwo, which you will never get an invite for, and even if you do, there’s a 1/4 chance it has FB – and if it does, just use Dragonite and Gengar.

    There’s no reason to keep a double dark Gyarados. TM it to double water and wait for Groudon’s release.

    • MightyMexican0

      What do you think of keeping a dual DT+HP Gyarados for defender? I think that the generality from DTail with the double possibility of weather boost is interesting.

  • Loser

    Or get more Gyarados, water ones for when you need water attackers, and dark ones when you need to fight Ghosts/psychics. They’re hardly rare.

    • Chris Denton

      They are rare where I live. Never seen a wild and walked 200km to get the one I have. Hardly common

      • Loser

        True, anywhere without much water they might be rarer, but with the new weather system hopefully you’ll see more next time it rains! Or is forecast to rain maybe.

        • Chris Denton

          Yeah the weather is pretty exciting, IMO.

  • Leo Luo

    Lol I feel weird I don’t even have the legacy dragon tail anymore, I TMd it, and I only have one Gyardos. Should I feel bad or good?

    • Chanderule

      good, that moveset sucks

  • Coltonandgen


  • Pokeballdk Denmark

    “…there isn’t a huge demand for extremely high DPS water type attackers..” That’s not true! You are forgetting Lugia and Moltres will probably be back soon, Mewtwo is still and soon Groudon (maybe this week) will enter the scene with Gyarados as one of the best counters. So there will still be a great demand for Gyarados now and at least again in the near future!

  • Michal Hušák

    You shoul include waether in the battle simulations. This change the raid strategy more significantly than waterfall. Almost all R4 can be now done in 2 people under optimsl waether.

    • Chanderule

      Thing is, weather can be very hard to use if you dont spoof

      • Michal Hušák

        You can select R4 boss based on actual waether. Or you can chose attackers base on whaeter. It easy …

        • Chanderule

          If its cloudy, you cant really use the weather against Ho-oh, can you

          • Michal Hušák

            If it is cloudy we kill tyranitars in 2 people by Macham and let Ho-oh live :-).

  • tester

    omg. not mentioning the soloing possibilities ag Ninetales???!! cmon! thats the best way, how to use him! 🙂

    • Curtis Beales

      ‘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’.

      That’s what they said about Ninetails.

  • Gonzalo Cordoba

    This is an incredible research job. My respects.

  • Sam Burton

    Dragonite is the best counter into Ho-Oh with solar beam, hands down.

    • Chanderule

      Defensively maybe, but Golem does more damage and would be the best if it werent for the stupid dodge glitch

      • Sam Burton

        Yes, am talking real life scenario which includes dodge glitch and any network lag. Even without these issues I would still estimate dragonite roughly on par at the very least vs solar beam.

    • Michal Hušák

      No. It is Raiku and Zapdos.

  • Ryan Red

    I have Karp like crazy & could have evolved 15, but I only evolve if it’s above 96% and high CP Karp.

  • Anthony

    I mean I have a bunch of powered up Gyarados so I have made some with WF/HP and kept others with the double dark and double dragon movesets, but why are people all the sudden so hard up to keep those other movesets? All we have wanted since the game launched was a double water Gyarados and now that it’s a possibility everyone is balking at making it happen so they can keep some very limited use movesets.

  • Nguyen Ngoc Tu

    If my Gyarados has got “Dragon Tail” as quick move, I shouldn’t change it to Waterfall, should I ? 🙂 Dragon Tail is legacy move now

  • G-Walla

    Mine has Dragon Tail and outrage, which I didn’t mind since I’ve tons of Vaporeons and didn’t have any decent ice types and Dragonite used to be common on Gyms. Nowadays, I don’t use him much, despite being my highest CP Pokemon, but I don’t raid enough to have a lot of TMs. I’ll just keep collecting for a second Gyarados.

  • Chess Cardigan

    I disagree with your attempts to unhype Waterfall Gary. Waterfall/Hydro Pump Gary is now the MVP against anything Fire, Ground or Rock. It’s not only dethroned Vape but also marginalised Golem (whose niche is now double weakness Flying/Fire types.) Of past and present raid bosses: Gary would be the MVP against Rhydon, Entei, Arcanine, Flareon, Golem and Ninetales. It’s also now a very decent gym attacker/sweeper.

  • Luis C

    Any thougts of leaving gyarados with dragon tail as defender? Generally does damage (as dragin type is general 1x damage) and you can get boost by two weather types with dual set (dragon tail+hydropump)

  • Lorenzo Scocchera

    Don’t forget about how better it is against Groudon!
    No need to talk about Ground moves, obv.
    Resists Fire Blast and doesn’t take super effective damage from Solar Beam, yeet in this scenario probably Grass-Type should be better.
    Nonetheless I believe that against a Groudon with Mud Shot Gyarados should be the best choice