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I wonder why in single player mode Pokemon trainers (some of them even exclusively) use Magikarp that only knows how to perform Splash. According to this question Splash never even does real damage, unless it's out of PP which takes way too many turns to be a feasible tactic, but who knows maybe that is actually what they're going for? I kind of get that fishermen could employ this tactic, as they probably have a lot of patience fishing their whole life, but why would the real trainers try to… Are they leeching off their opponent's PP this way?

Is there any explanation why a trainer in single player mode would fight somebody with Magikarps that don't know any other moves than Splash?

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closed as off-topic by Frank, O-O, shanodin, CyberSkull, Zommuter Aug 29 '13 at 8:00

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions about Game Design and Development are off topic. This includes speculative questions about developer intent, as well as lore questions not addressed directly through in-universe sources." – Frank, O-O, shanodin, CyberSkull, Zommuter
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This is kinda asking why the developers did something, which is something we can't really answer unless the developers themselves (@gamefreak) specifically reply. – O-O Aug 29 '13 at 1:53
@Retrosaur Well, maybe I missed it in the game? I can't assume only the devs know all the answers. – user1306322 Aug 29 '13 at 2:29
This is perhaps borderline, but after editing the title, I'll allow it. – Raven Dreamer Aug 29 '13 at 3:29
@RavenDreamer No offense meant, but the title change completely detracts from the original intent of OP's question. The way you worded it makes it sound like a "Should I use Magikarp in my team?'" or "How viable is Magikarp" kind of question, which isn't really the case here. – O-O Aug 29 '13 at 5:02
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Consider this, at that point in the game, you should have at least passed the first gym leader, more or less, and are on your way to the next gym leader. Not true for all cases, but at that point in the game, you should be familiar with all the game mechanics.

That said, consider it as experience fodder. It's an equivalent of finding a Audino out in the wild; it's just a nice boost of free experience, not only for your lead Pokemon, but for other Pokemon you'd like to get a nice boost of exp with. 6 Magikarps, all using Splash can be a nice way for you to get your Pokemon to the next level, next evolution, etc., kind of like "breathing room".

From my experience, the Magikarp trainers would always be outside one of the "forests" you encounter along the game, the ones that have tons of grass, tons of trainers, and no heals for your team (with the usual Nurse here and there(after a battle). You can also then think of this battle of a "joke", because after all your trainer's been through, facing off against a team of Magikarp's? PFFFFFFFF

That's the only explanation I believe would best fit the reason the trainer using Magikarp (besides the hypothetical inside joke).

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In-game (story wise), trainers tend to have a moral/tactic to share after the battle. Most of the Magikarp Fishermen say something along the lines of "I'd catch better Pokemon if I had a better ROD", or "Fresh caught Pokemon are no match for properly trained ones." – Robotnik Aug 30 '13 at 6:17

remember that in some later Pokemon Games there are Pokefan trainers who focus on either one pokemon (magikarp) or one type of pokemon (water, fish) however i think in all the games there have been Fisherman trainers and there wouldn't bee to many "Fish" pokemon

if the TV series is anything to go by there is also a group who believe in training pokemon but never having them evolve and being just as strong as their fully evolved form (so a Geodude being as strong as a Golem), you could assume that trainer in the game who really shouldn't have any reason to have Magikarp have them could be apart of this group and are trying to train their Magikarp to be as good as Gyarados

one last thing it could be is to make people think of the battle James had in the anime with another trainer where they had both Magikarp or back in the first season when Ash and another trainer fought with 2 Metapods with Harden, the first thing you think off if you face a trainer with all Magicarp

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It is just due to the fact that the pokemon trainers use were randomly generated; or it might possibly mean that Game Freak decided to include them because the trainers were trying to evolve their Magikarp to Gyarados.

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I don't suppose trainers could've been that silly to believe it's possible to win a battle without attacking. And I'm almost certain all NPCs are pre-programmed at least up to the gen 3 games. – user1306322 Aug 29 '13 at 2:25
the pokemon trainers use most definitely not Random Gen. magikarp is the punching bag of pokemon and fishermen are frequenty given magikarp because they were just fishing and it's most likely what they whould have – DCA- Aug 29 '13 at 8:33

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