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Ok so, I'm playing Pokémon Soul Silver, and I trained a Magikarp to be able to make him evolve into a Gyarados. Now, my Magikarp is lvl 19, and soon to be 20 (which is the level that it will evolve). But I also know that if I keep leveling up my Magikarp up to lvl 30, it will learn the attack "flail".

Now, my question is: is it worth it to make it level up to level 30 so that it will learn the attack Flail, or should I just make it evolve already?

Because, I don't know if it will have an impact if I decide to make my Magikarp evolve only at level 30. For instance, does the stats of the Gyarados will be bigger if I evolve it at 20 and make it level up to 30, or if it would have the same stats regardless of the time I made it evolve?

Anyway, I hope my question is clear! Thank you for taking time to read this and potentially helping me out :)

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    Magikarp is never worth it. Gyarados always is. – LoveAndCoding Oct 15 '14 at 0:38
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Flail can be, potentially, the most powerful move of Gyarados.

It's a bit risky, because your Gyarados will need to have less than 35% of its HP to "generate" a powerful Flail.
Also you need to have a good speed to ensure to be the first to hit each turn. Gyarados has a discrete 81 Base Speed value, so it can be "outspeeded" from a faster enemy.

In short, the more powerful is the move, the more fragile is your pokemon. It's up to you.

To answer your second question: no, your Gyarados' stats will be the same regardless the level you evolve it. They only depend on EVs, IVs, base stats, nature and level of your pokemon, and the only things that change with evolution are base stats.


PS:
That's not true that if you didn't evolve Magikarp until level 30 you'd be missing out other moves which Gyarados would learn, because you can always teach them with the Move Reminder.

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No. Flail is not worth it. Gyarados learns much more powerful moves between levels 20 and 30, totally invalidating Flail.

To expand slightly, if you didn't evolve Magikarp until level 30, you'd be missing out on the following moves which Gyarados would learn:

  • lvl 20 - Bite (a physical dark attack which may cause flinching)
  • lvl 23 - Dragon Rage (a special dragon attack which always does 40 damage, regardless of effectiveness)
  • lvl 26 - Leer (a status move which lowers the opponent's defense)
  • lvl 29 - Twister (a special dragon move which may cause flinching)
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  • @CeesTimmerman Whilst that might be true, it doesn't make up for the moves you miss out on. It's also very likely that a level 30 Magikarp will have only around 50-75HP (estimated) and will find itself getting knocked out in one hit (it also has low defense stats) and therefore never getting to use Flail at its full effectiveness. – shanodin Oct 15 '14 at 9:17
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    isn't it cool to have flail on Gyarados? – libathos Oct 15 '14 at 13:21
  • @libathos No. It definitely isn't. – shanodin Oct 15 '14 at 13:22
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    The only decent move is Bite. Dragon Rage is useful only against low level enemies (due to its fixed damage), Leer it's quite useless and Twister is a bad choice, because it's a special move and Gyarados has a ridiculous 60 base Special Attack. – pinckerman Oct 16 '14 at 16:18
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The formulae for determining stats of a pokemon do not depend at all on which stage of their evolution they are at the time of each levelup, but instead on the following factors:

Effort Values (invisible stat gained when defeating enemies based on what enemy it is. gain between 1 and 4 EV per kill in predetermined stats. example: kill many geodudes and your def will go up)

Individual Values (invisible stat determined at the time you first meet/catch your pokemon, ranging from 0 to 31, denotes the idea that some pokemon are just better than others)

Level (current level of the pokemon)

Base Stats (how good a pokemon is in regards to each specific stat, consistent across all pokemon of that species, for example Garchomp has a base attack of 130, but a base special attack of 80, so you should be teaching him physical attacks)

Nature (the pokemon's personality. increases one stat but lowers another)

You can find the exact formulae for how particular stats are calculated at http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Stats (in particular go to the section for gen3+ as the formulae for gen1/2 are out of date since the inclusion of natures)

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  • the ONLY benefits to not evolving a pokemon is to keep it cute and cuddly, or to have it learn stronger or rarer moves faster. – morvyj Oct 15 '14 at 2:59
  • To be more precise, some moves can be learned only by the pre evolutions (e.g. Mudkip and hydro pump) and thus are lost when the pokemon evolves. Moreover, the formula used when the experience is calculated depends on the family of the pokemon and not on the species so keeping the lower evolution to level up more quickly doesn't work. – ThCP Oct 15 '14 at 9:55
  • Actually it does because since Gen VI, a Pokemon that would have evolved on a previous level gains bonus EXP. I don't know the exact numbers, though. From personal experience, I would assume it's around 10-20%. – scenia Dec 15 '14 at 17:04

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