Pokémon GO’s Lunar New Year event starts on Tuesday, February 9. As part of that event, a couple of new Pokémon variations will be added to the mix, including everyone’s favorite screaming lake monster, Mega Gyarados. It’s a fitting choice for the event, as the evolution of Magikarp into Gyarados is inspired by the old Chinese myth of the Dragon Gate, in which a koi that climbs a massive waterfall transforms into a mighty dragon. But if you want a giant fish dragon in your party, you’re gonna have to commit to it, which is why we should clarify whether Mega Gyarados should be used in Pokémon GO.

As a preliminary reminder, you can only have one active Mega Evolved Pokémon at a time, and their transformation will only last 8 hours. So if you want to make a habit of using a Mega Gyarados, it’ll be at the expense of any other Mega Evolved Pokémon, at least until it calms down. While Mega Gyarados is technically not the strongest out of all Mega Evolutions, losing out in raw CP to Mega Blastoise, it’s certainly nothing to sneeze at either, making for a pretty solid standby pick.

Should You Use Mega Gyarados in Pokémon GO?

When Mega Evolved, Gyarados’ usual Water/Flying typing changes to Water/Dark. This means it’ll specialize against Ghost, Psychic, Fire, Ground, and Rock types and take lessened damage from Dark, Ghost, Psychic, Fire, Ice, Steel, and Water types. Of course, double typing means double weaknesses; a Mega Gyarados is weak against Bug, Fairy, Fighting, Electric, and Grass. A wide swath of potential weaknesses, to be sure, but they’re about balanced with its specialities. 

Mega Gyarados’ stats break down like this:

  • Max CP: 4,717 
  • Attack: 242 
  • Defense: 207
  • Stamina: 182

Befitting its intimidating stature, Mega Gyarados’ stats are high-ranking and surprisingly well-balanced. Both offensive and defensive builds are perfectly viable, making up for any minor shortcomings in strength with greater heartiness.

If you can defeat a Mega Gyarados during the Lunar New Year event, you’ll gain the ability to Mega Evolve your Gyarados. If you’re looking for an ace to take on five-star raids, you could certainly do worse than a giant lake monster.