Pokémon games have two main concepts. The first one is to catch as many Pocket Monsters as possible to increase your collection. And once you've caught ‘em all you can finally show all your friends that you’ve wasted several years for a goal that a hacker would have achieved in less than an hour. And then you get called a nerd. I think we’ve all made this experience. No? Then it’s maybe just me.

However, the second goal of a mainline Pokémon game is to train your domesticated friends and use them in battles as a deadly weapon. Because every Pokémon can be a deadly weapon. Well, probably not every single Pokémon. Some of them need to evolve to become a threat. Just take a look at Sunkern. It’s very weak. But its evolution Sunflora is… a little bit less weak. A better example is probably Magikarp. It’s very weak, almost pathetic, but its evolution – Gyarados – is a real killing machine.

Actually, the only reason to train a Magikarp is its evolution. Every Pokémon trainer knows that. You only have to train that pathetic fish up to Level 20 and you’ll get a very strong Sea Serpent which is capable of destroying entire cities in a rage and it remains enraged until it demolishes everything around it. (actual Pokédex entries) But there are two reasons to not evolve a Magikarp: You either want to wait until level 30 where it learns Flail (which isn’t even a great move) or you’re a very strange person like the following ones.

That’s why our team went on a journey to find the strongest Magikarp and ask their trainers why they’re using them.

What you need to know:
Gen I / Gen III: Fisherman Andrew uses two Magikarp, both at level 24
Gen II: Fisherman Stephen uses two Magikarp, both at level 25. You’ll also find a Qwillfish and a Tentacruel in his team. In the Gen IV Remakes, he replaced his two Magikarp with a single Quagsire.
Gen VII: Fisherman Hank uses a Magikarp, a Seaking and a Poliwag, all at level 27. Fisherman Elliot uses a Magikarp and a Gyarados, both at Level 27 as well.

Comments by trainers:
Andrew: “I don’t see your problem. I’m putting my rod into the water. A Magikarp bites the hook. Should I NOT catch the Magikarp? Tell me!”
Stephen: “I just caught those damn fishes! I’m going to evolve ‘em as soon as I win a battle with ‘em! This is actually a damn hard challenge, you know?”
Hank: “Magikarp does evolve? Oh, I think you forgot that this is a Remake of Generation 1. Its evolution hasn’t been included until Gen 2. It has? Are you sure? I don’t think so.”
Elliot: “What’s your problem, man! I already have a Gyarados! I wanna keep Magikarp for my living dex! Do YOU have a living dex? I don’t think so.”

What you need to know:
In Diamond and Pearl, Fisherman Cory uses a Magikarp at level 28. The max level of wild Magikarp is level 25 on Route 221. This means that he actually decided to not evolve it. He uses a Finneon and a Gyarados as well. In Platinum however, he replaced Magikarp and Gyarados with two more Finneon.

Comment by Cory (Diamond / Pearl):
“Yes. That’s right. I decided to not evolve my Magikarp. Why? I’ve heard that it will learn a great move at level 30. Flail? I don’t need one. I don’t work in agriculture. I’m a fisherman.”

Bonus Comment (Platinum):
“For the last time! I don’t own a Magikarp, I’ve never owned one and I’ll never ever catch one! I love Finneon! It’s the best fish in the whole world! Yeah, I know it sucks in battle but it’s soooooo cute.”

What you need to know:
In Ruby and Sapphire, you’ll find Eugene at Route 119. He uses a Magikarp at level 30, a Tentacool, a Feebas and a Carvanha. He changed his team in the Gen VI Remakes and relies on 2 Carvanha instead but keeps his Feebas.
In Emerald however, you’ll find a Fisherman called Chris at the exact same spot and with the exact same Pokémon. Only the levels are lowered each by one compared to Eugene. Are Eugene and Chris the same person? We need to know that as well.

Comments by Eugene:
“That’s right. I’m using a Magikarp. Why? Because it’s a fish! Gyarados isn’t a fish. Oh, you wanna tell me that Tentacruel is a fish neither? It’s clearly a jelly-FISH! Get your facts right, man!”
“Chris? Never heard that name before. But he seems to be a great guy.”

Comment by Chris:
“That’s right. I’m using a Magikarp. Why? Because it’s a fish! Gyarados isn’t a fish. What? Another guy responded exactly the same. Who is he? Eugene? That name sounds familiar. Maybe he’s an ancestor of mine. Or maybe he fulfils the same role than I do but in a parallel universe. Are we already in the generation with parallel universes? No? In that case, it might just be a coincidence.”

Note: The level information in this section is denoted as DP / P where DP stands for the level in Diamond and Pearl and P for the level in Platinum

What you need to know:
First, we have Fisherman George. He uses a Magikarp at level 38 / 41. It’s clearly his weakest Pokémon. The other “fishes” that he uses are: Remoraid, Finneon and Gyarados.
Next, we have Fisherman Alec. His Magikarp is at level 40 / 42. But he also uses a much stronger Gyarados.
Finally, there is Fisherman Brett. His Magikarp is at level 39 / 43. The two other Pokémon in his team are a Finneon and a Feebas.
Over-levelled Magikarp seem to be quite Popular on Route 222. You can even catch them at level 25 while using a Good Rod.

Comments by trainers:
George: “Evolving my Magikarp? Are you insane? It’s clearly my MVP! What I mean by MVP? This stands for: Mingy and Vulnerable Pokémon. And every team needs one of those!”
Alec: “Why I’m using a Magikarp? That’s a very long and dark story about intrigues and betrayal. It’s a sad story about a simple guy who wants to be the very best. It’s an emotional story about the wonderful friendship between a young trainer and a Pokémon that seems to be a real underdog. This story will pluck your heartstrings. This story…”
He kept talking like that for on hour. We still don’t know why he uses a Magikarp or anything else about his story.
Brett: “You gotta be kidding me! There is absolutely no reason to NOT use a magic carp. I mean, it’s a carp. And it’s magic. This Pokémon combines the two best things in the world: Carps and magic. What does Gyarados combine? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Yeah, that’s right.”

What you need to know:
In Ruby & Sapphire, Roger has 3 Magikarp and one Gyarados. And the Pokémon with the highest level in his team is of course one of the Magikarp. Their levels are 15, 25 and 45, whilst Gyarados being at Level 35. In Emerald, he got rid of his strongest Magikarp however, while the rest of his team stays the same.

Comments by Roger:
Ruby / Sapphire: “This is part of my strategy. First, I’m using a weak Magikarp. Then, I’m using a slightly stronger Magikarp. Then, I’m using a really strong Gyarados and the opponent is thinking: Damn, the final Pokémon must be a real powerhouse. Thus, they’ll do some careless moves. But when they beat Gyarados they’ll notice that my final Pokémon is just a Magikarp. Pretty clever, isn’t it?”
Emerald: “I really wish that I could catch a third Magikarp. If I ever catch a third one, I’m going to evolve one of my other Magikarp. Seriously, I’m totally gonna do that.”

What you need to know:
Only few regular trainers use six Pokémon. Fisherman Wade is one of them. He starts with a Magikarp which is followed by… 5 more Magikarp. All of them have the same level. In the original games (Gen I), they're level 27. And In the Let’s Go games, his mighty fishes are at level 42 each. But his strongest team is in Fire Red and Leaf Green. In the first battle they are at level 27 again but during the rematch, they are all at level 47! He’s probably the biggest Magikarp fan in the whole world.

Comments by Wade:
“I don’t like Magikarp! I hate it! Every time I put my rod into the water, I just have that stupid fish on the hook! That sucks! I hate that ugly fish! I can’t see it anymore!”
“Why I don’t evolve them? I tried to make ‘em evolve, but they don’t want to! They’re kidding me! They’re f***ing kidding me! I honestly tried, but nothing works!”
“I tried to make them somehow versatile in battles. A friend of mine gave me some nice items. They’re called Everstones. They’re supposed to make my Pokémon stronger but it doesn’t work. Wait, what? That’s not how Everstones work? What do they do instead? They’re making what?! I’m going to f***ing kill my friend, that f***ing son of b****! He should f***ing die and I’m gonna p*** on his grave! That f***ing stupid piece of s***!”

What you need to know:
Fisherman Mick is another of those trainers who uses six Pokémon. Actually, he’s using 6 Magikarp as well, all at Level 60. Magikarp aren’t that common in Unova but that’s certainly not a good reason to use six of them and completely ignore all other Pokémon. We needed to find out more!

Comments by Mick:
“Ha! I’m glad that you’ve noticed that! I’m very proud to be the only trainer in Unova that owns Magikarp. And I own six of them. Isn’t that the coolest thing you’ve ever seen? I’m gonna sell those fishes and make a lot of money. Or maybe I’m gonna breed them and make even more money. I guess people will pay millions of Pokémon Dollar for one single exemplar. I’m gonna be a rich guy.”
“Woah, what? There’s already a guy selling those fishes for only 500 Pokémon Dollar? I can’t believe that. My whole plan has failed!”
“Wait, I just had a great idea. That guy is selling those Magikarp at level 5, right? I’m gonna sell mine at level 100! I’m sure people will pay much more money for a level 100 Magikarp. What do you mean by: It cannot evolve then? That’s not my problem!”

What you need to know:
And here we have the strongest trainer that uses six Magikarp. In the Normal Black 2 / White 2 Mode, they’re all at level 58 and in Easy Mode, they’re at level 53. But in the Challenge Mode, they’re at level 63 which is… not very challenging to be honest. I mean, we’re still talking about Magikarp. But I guess Fisherman Mack has a good reason to use them.

Comments by Mack:
“I just love fishing. And those Magikarp seem to love me. Every time I put my rod into the water, I’ll catch one of those Pokémon.”
“What do you mean by: Magikarp don’t live here? I really caught them here. So please stop asking questions.”
“Yeah, Magikarp isn’t the strongest Pokémon. But I like them. And I caught them here! Right here! Did you understand?”
“For the last time: Stop asking questions! Just mind your own business!”
“You really should leave now. If you stay longer, you might get involved in an accident. Was that clear enough or do I have to get any more specific?”
We decided to leave at that point and to never come back.

What you need to know:
Fisherman Alex… Oh, wait. He isn’t a Fisherman. My bad. It seems that not only Fishermen are using Magikarp. Alex is using a team of Nidoking and Slowking, both at an underwhelming level of 29. But his third Pokémon is a mighty Magikarp at level 58 in Gold, Silver and Crystal*. And it’s even stronger in Heart Gold and Soul Silver, where its power level is over 9000! Sorry, wrong entry. Actually, it’s at level 65 in the Remakes, which is very impressing. It would have been even more impressing if he decided to evolve it and to use a Gyarados instead.

Comment by Alex:
“Gyarados isn’t cute! Magikarp is! That’s all! I don’t need to say more, do I?”
“Nobody cares if Gyarados might be stronger. Is it really stronger? Is it? You think so? Why don’t we try it? Your Gyarados versus my Magikarp! C’mon!”
“Okay, Gyarados might be stronger, but Magikarp is better in every other way! Have you seen how good it is at the Pokéathlon? Is Gyarados that good? Are you sure? Why don’t we try that as well! C’mon!”
“Okay, Gyardos might be better at the Pokéathlon as well. But Magikarp is better in every other way. It splashes much higher! Can Gyarados splash that high? You guess it does? We should try that as well! What do you mean by: You have other stuff to do? Hey, come back!”

*Note: In Gold, Silver and Crystal, he only uses that Magikarp in the Japanese and Korean version. In the Western versions he replaced his Magikarp with a boring Seaking at level 29.

What you need to know:
The strongest Magikarp trainer is… A Youngster? You gotta be kidding me. But it kinda makes sense because he is a Master Trainer. (Which only occur in Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee) Hence, he has specialized in Magikarp and it actually is his only Pokémon. It might just be at Level 65, but his carp is actually stronger than Pokéfan Alex’s one. That’s because the Master trainers use optimized AVs* and IVs values for their Pokémon. And that’s why he’s the strongest Magikarp trainer amongst all people in the Pokémon universe.

Comments by Easton:
“My Magikarp is clearly in the top percentage of all Magikarp.”
“My Magikarp is super cool.”
“I’m going to become a great trainer with my Magikarp.”
“Magikarp is the best Pokémon in the whole world.”
“I tried to surf on my Magikarp but it didn’t work.”
“It’s not weak! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!”
“My Magikarp is better than yours. It’s better than all of your stupid Pokémon!”
“Magikarp, use Splash!”
“I’d totally beat you in a battle!”
Actually, we have tried to ask him why he’s only using a Magikarp but he has always ignored that question. That’s why you should never interview a Youngster.

*Note: AVs are a concept similar to EVs which only occur in the Pokémon Let’s Go games so far.

Breaking News:
Those aren’t the strongest Magikarp! We have found Magikarp at level 100 in Unova’s Nature Preserve and Sinnoh’s Resort Area. That’s awesome! We asked those Magikarp how they became that strong.

Comments by various Magikarp:
“Magikarp! Magikarp!”
“Magikarp!”
“Karp! Karp!”
“Magikarp, Magikarp, Magikarp!”
“What, man? Do I look like a Magikarp to you? I’m Skyla! I brought you here! You really need a break, damn…”

Honorable Mentions
DP: Fisherman – Route 218 (Sinnoh) – Level 26
XY: Fisherman – Route 12 (Kalos) – Level 24
GSC / HGSS: Fisherman – Lake of Rage (Johto) – Level 22

And that’s it. Those were the strongest Magikarp all over the world. Thank you for joining our team on our unconventional journey.


List by GFJunichiMasuda (11/12/2019)

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