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Duo of the Week: Gyarados – Salamence

by JimLink

1st Set

Gyarados

Item held:
Focus Sash
Ability:
Intimidate
Nature:
Jolly (+Speed, -Sp.Attack)
Effort Points:
252Attack – 168Speed – 90HP
Attacks:
Dragon Dance
Waterfall
Earthquake
Ice Fang/Protect

Gyarados

Salamence

Item held:
Focus Sash
Ability:
Intimidate
Nature:
Adamant (+Attack, -Sp.Attack)
Effort Points:
252Atk – 146HP – 112Speed
Attacks:
Dragon Dance
Dragon Claw
Earthquake
Fire Fang/Rock Slide/Protect

Salamence

Sending out Gyarados and Salamence at the same time will cut both foes´ Atk by half. Quite useful, don´t? – specially considering that physical sweepers are the most common things on double battles. Sometimes, your opponent will start switching out to make their pokemon´s Atk be back to normal. So, you can use this free turn to dragon dance. 168 EVs of speed on Gyarados and 112 on Salamence will make them have 264 speed points. It´s enough to outrun all pokemon with base stat equal to 130 – any pokemon faster than it isn´t very common on double battles – so, you can spend the rest of the EVs to make your HP higher and be able to survive some attacks. If you want, you can give them more EVs on speed, but that´s unnecessary. But remember: the amount of EVs needed to make your speed be high enough (264 points) vary from pokemon to pokemon, because it depends on the IVs. Use stat calculators to see how much EVs you really need to make your pokemon have 264 speed points.
If the opponent doesn´t switch, Focus Sash is there to ensure that your pokemon will survive. If you´re playing under item clause – which forbids you from using repeated items -, make Gyarados hold a Wacan berry or Salamence hold a Yache Berry, since only electric moves can OHKO Gyarados and only ice moves can OHKO Salamence. Well… if you noticed, both pokemon are flying and have earthquake. So, you can use Earthquake twice in a row without damaging yourself – for those who doesn´t know, Earthquake hits all pokemon on field. About Salamence´s last move slot: you can choose Fire Fang, which is super-effective against Skarmory and Bronzong that completely wall this strategy, Rock Slide, which hits both foes and may cause them to flinch, but has a lower power – moves that hit both opponents only have their power halved on double battles -, or Protect, to make Salamence survive a little more. Don´t use Outrage, because it attacks a ramdom foe pokemon in double batles. So, if you´re unlucky, you may attack the wrong opponent.

2nd Set

Gyarados

Item held:
Focus Sash
Ability:
Intimidate
Nature:
Jolly (+Speed, -Sp.Attack)
Effort Points:
252Attack – 168Speed – 90HP
Attacks:
Dragon Dance
Waterfall
Earthquake
Ice Fang/Protect

Salamence

Item held:
Choice Specs/Life Orb
Ability:
Intimidate
Nature:
Modest (+Sp.Attack, -Attack)/Timid (+Speed, -Attack)
Effort Points:
252S.Atk – 252Speed – 6HP
Attacks:
Hydro Pump
Flamethrower/Fire Blast
Dragon Pulse
Protect/Hidden Power Electric/Draco Meteor

It´s almost the same thing of the previous one, but now, Salamence is a special sweeper. You can choose between power (modest nature) or speed (timid), both vitals for double battles. Something about Choice Specs: if you use it, you obviously can´t use Protect, so replace it with Hidden Power or Draco Meteor. Draco Meteor is really risked, because you may need to switch out after, although with some prediction, you won´t have problems. If you choose Life Orb, to boost your power and be able to use more than a single attack, then use Protect. Protect is really necessary for double battles and, with prediction, is the key for victory.

Counters

Tyranitar or Hippowdon´s Sandstream ability cancels the effect of Focus Sash, as well as Abomasnow´s Snow Warning. Tyranitar´s Thunderbolt – if you consider using one – will knock out Gyarados instantly. But Tyranitar is slow and, usually, can´t survive if both Gyarados and Salamence try an Earthquake. If Sandstorm or Hail are in effect, any pokemon faster than Salamence with ice moves and a good Atk stat or an average SAtk stat will defeat it. Ice Shard is also an option for powerful but slow pokemon. Jolteon and Aerodactyl are also nice for countering this duo. Jolteon´s Thunderbolt will take down Gyarados. If Gyarados´ Focus Sash protects it from an instant KO, Aerodactyl´s Rock Slide is there to beat it anyways. In general, you must not let them use Dragon Dance, unless you have pokemon with good resistance.

Opinion and Notes

Salamence and Gyarados are quite powerful pokemon. Together, they´re even better. Their only common weakness is the rock type, but their trait cancels it, since nobody uses special rock attacks.

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